February 10th, 2014
05:26 AM ET
9 years ago

Documents reveal Hillary Clinton’s private reaction to her husband's cheating scandal with Monica Lewinsky

Updated 4:10 p.m. ET, 2/10/2014

Washington (CNN) – Hillary Clinton told a close friend that Monica Lewinsky was a "narcissistic loony toon," and also discussed in detail why she decided to forgive her husband for having an affair with the White House intern, according to documents penned by Diane Blair, a close friend and longtime confidant to the former first lady.

The contents of the documents, which are part of Blair’s papers housed at the University of Arkansas, were first reported by the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website that posted the story late on Sunday night.

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CNN has confirmed the documents are authentic and has reached out to a spokesman for Hillary Clinton, who has not responded.

Read the documents

Blair’s writings are made up of notes and diary entries based on communication the former political science professor who died in 2000 had with Mrs. Clinton.

“It was a lapse, but she says to his credit he tried to break it off, tried to pull away, tried to manage someone who was clearly a 'narcissistic loony toon'; but it was beyond control," Blair wrote about a conversation she had with Clinton on September 9, 1998, during the height of the Lewinsky scandal that led to her husband’s impeachment.

Blair went on to write that Hillary Clinton had suggested her husband had made the mistake with Lewinsky because of the personal toll the deaths of his mother, her father, and their friend Vince Foster had taken on him while "the ugly forces started making up hateful things about them, pounding on them."

The story comes as speculation heats up that the former New York senator and secretary of state is weighing a second run for the White House.

The Blair papers were not made public until 2010, well after Clinton’s unsuccessful presidential bid in 2008.

And the details come as Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a likely 2016 GOP White House contender, continues to call the Lewinsky scandal a liability for Democrats.

Some Democrats pushed back, saying the documents don't reveal anything more about Hillary Clinton's feelings about the controversy than what she wrote in her memoir, "Living History."

Clinton described herself as "dumbfounded, heartbroken and outraged" when her husband told her about his relations with Lewinsky.

"Gulping for air, I started crying and yelling at him," she wrote. "'What do you mean? What are you saying? Why did you lie to me?'"

Democrats argue the passages from her own book are more powerful because they come directly from her.

Where is Monica Lewinsky?

The Clinton-Lewisnky affair captivated the nation’s attention as the sordid details became international news. The relationship and grand jury investigation led the House to impeach Clinton on two charges in December 1998. In February 1999, the Senate acquitted him.

Just days after Clinton’s impeachment, Blair wrote that Hillary called her, and they had a lengthy conversation about impeachment.

“She sounded very up, almost jolly,” writes Blair. “Told me how she and Bill and Chelsea had been to church, to a Chinese restaurant, to a Shakespeare play, greeted everywhere with wild applause and cheers.”

She added, “This, she said, is what drives their adversaries totally nut(s), that they don't bend, do not appear to be suffering.”

According to Blair, Clinton said that “most people in this town have no pain threshold.”

Blair’s writings also show Hillary Clinton sought to downplay the relationship between her husband and Lewisnky.

“HRC insists, no matter what people say, it was gross inappropriate behavior but it was consensual (was not a power relationship) and was not sex within any real meaning… of the term,” Blair wrote.

In addition to Hillary Clinton's private thoughts on the Lewinsky matter, Blair's writing talks about Clinton's support for a single payer health care system, as well as her thoughts on foreign policy, among other subjects.

According to notes about a dinner Blair had with the first couple on February 23, 1993, Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton talked “at length about the complexities of healthcare,” with the first lady saying stating “managed competition a crock, single payer necessary; maybe add to Medicare.”

Hillary Clinton was the face of the White House’s unsuccessful 1993 push on health care reform and healthcare comes up throughout the Blair notes.

Clinton’s admission that “single payer necessary” contrasts what she has sad in the past. In a 2008 interview with the New York Times, Clinton said, “You know, I have thought about this, as you might guess, for 15 years and I never seriously considered a single-payer system.”

Blair, a political science professor from Arkansas, joined Gov. Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign as a senior researcher and worked as a senior adviser on his successful 1996 reelection bid. She became a close friend to both Clintons, but particularly the first lady.

She died in 2000 at the age of 61. At the time, The New York Times reported that Hillary Clinton eulogized Blair as “the best person that one could have as a friend.”

The documents portray Blair’s relationship with Clinton as both professional and personal. While they appeared to talk extensively about policy and politics, they also discussed books, travel and family.

The Blair documents were donated by her husband, James, in 2005. The documents were processed and completed by 2010 and contain 109 boxes of information that range from Blair’s professional materials to her correspondence with the Clintons.

If Clinton runs in 2016, what will Biden do?

James once helped Hillary Clinton make $100,000 in commodity futures trading, which drew scrutiny for its timing.

According to the Free Beacon, Hillary Clinton was a supporter of making the Blair records public in 2010.

“With this collection, [Diane Blair’s] contributions will grow and live on, enlarging our understanding of history, politics and culture,” Hillary Clinton reportedly said, according to the Free Beacon. "I hope also that some young scholar will come along and write the story of Diane.

The Washington Free Beacon reporter who first poured through the documents didn't think she'd find all that much to write about.

"I went down to Arkansas. I honestly didn't think that there would be much there, because I feel like so much of the Clintons, especially the 1990's related stuff, has been so picked over by reporters. But yeah, I went down and surprisingly there were some interesting things there," Alana Goodman told CNN's Brooke Baldwin in an interview on CNN Newsroom.

Moment of tension between Bill and Hillary Clinton

Filed under: Bill Clinton • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (955 Responses)
  1. jimmyva18

    Hillary (Stand By your Philandering Man) Clinton makes me – PHYSICALLY ILL!!!

    February 10, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Ah my friend, what some wouldn't do to have those types of "woes"!
    Gotta play the cards you're dealt to the best of your abilities I guess.
    Don't hate the player...hate the game!
    Go get 'em Rudy!!!
    You'd hate the games, too. I feel like the celebrity who wants to go out in public, but doesn't because of unwanted attention. I've had my fill of the insecure delusionals defending what is theirs.

    For example, I've walked into a restroom in a club and suddenly find myself confronted by some little Napoleon demanding to know why "his woman" keeps staring and looking at me. I'll have no idea of who or what little Napoleon is talking about, which only makes the matter worse.

    February 10, 2014 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  3. Boomer in Mo

    Said intern was no innocent. She merely did what she always did, offered sex to an older male. Whoever got her in the White House knew what she would do. Look at the forces around her. Strongly tied to people who had a certain vision for Israel. What was their agenda? Derailment of the Palistinian Peace Process? It worked if that was the goal.

    February 10, 2014 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  4. gladiatorgrl

    I see the hypocrite conservatives talking about values and character again. These are the same hypocrites that put Gingrich up as a Prez nominee and voted Sanford back in.

    At least the Clintons stuck it out for better or worse.

    February 10, 2014 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  5. Monomachos

    There is a lot more to the story of Hillary's "best friend's papers" than is being reported here.

    February 10, 2014 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  6. cp125

    If that's actually what Hillary called her, I'd say she's more civil than my friends & I. We called her something totally different....and still think she's just that.

    February 10, 2014 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  7. Kenman

    Oh, and why she "forgave" him, she couldn't care less what he does, until he gets caught, because theirs is a political arrangement! Recent revelations show, what most of us already suspected, WHEN they're in the government house together, they live and sleep in separate quarters!

    This woman is a shameless, heartless, ruthless ideologue, and their political partnership has left people ruined, incarcerated and DEAD in their wake! This will say a lot about the character of the "progressive" agenda if they are willing to make a deal with another devil to get their degenerate agenda through!

    February 10, 2014 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  8. Silence DoGood

    I see the hypocrite conservatives talking about values and character again. These are the same hypocrites that put Gingrich up as a Prez nominee and voted Sanford back in.

    At least the Clintons stuck it out for better or worse.
    The conservatives are still trying to hang on the "morality" thing and false righteous indignation. Remember the old bumper sticker: The Moral Majority is neither.

    February 10, 2014 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  9. NameFrank Deery

    Had she dumped him, she probably would have spared us Obama in 2009 and 2012.
    Impeached Clinton, always the Ham, destroyed Hillary's momentum in the South in 2008, with "incencitive race remarks". Thus, rise of Obama! A lemon! Iranian warships now off our coastlines!

    Bill Clinton will sabotege his wife again-in
    2016. Rand Paul got him Right!

    February 10, 2014 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  10. Tula

    If Miss Piggy becomes President, thats it! She should not be President, its that simple. She has communist leanings (single payer system), she's the original hippie against the United States way back to her college days. She never loved her country so why should she be President? She let those 4 people die in Libya - turned her back on them, thats treason as Secretary of State. Then, right in front of their dead bodies when they came back home, she was there next to them saying it happened because of a video.

    February 10, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  11. Scott

    I would have a lot more words than loony toon for that trollop ML. I LOVE Hillary and think she is a Classy woman. People need to STOP being intimidated by a strong, intelligent woman; its ridiculous.

    February 10, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Kristi Wallace

    He "lapsed"? Oh BooHoo. So does this mean, she is finally admitting that there were others before ML? I don't have very much respect for a woman who continues to allow her husband the leeway to have affairs, then blames the other woman. I don't get why Hillary is the Democratic Party's best candidate, is it just because she is a woman? What has she done?
    What has she done? Aside from the fact that Hillary apparently doesn't come from what conservatives consider to be good stock, I'd say that she's become a hardened survivor in DC politics with over 20 years of experience at it. What does Rand Paul bring to the table? He brings a medical certificate, which he granted himself, that declares him to be a doctor.

    February 10, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  13. Wes

    Does Hill dawg plan to come out of the closet before or after being elected president?

    February 10, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  14. JohnRJohnson

    Here it comes. Every piece of dirt that Hillary ever had under her fingernails is going to be paraded through the media. The political process in this country is as disgusting as it has ever been.

    February 10, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  15. Anastasia Beaverhausen

    Is this the best you can do GOP?

    February 10, 2014 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  16. t3chn0ph0b3

    Sounds like a tame, rational, and normal response to me.

    February 10, 2014 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  17. Guest

    Hillary has health issues that might inhibit her ability to handle any job.

    February 10, 2014 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  18. Nodack

    "timmy.......you are right, it matter little what Mr Clinton did with an 18 year old intern. It matters greatly that he was not honest enough to admit the truth."

    What matters was that that he balanced the budget, lowered the debt, started no wars and handed off a thriving economy to Bush. All Politicians lie without exception. Bush's lies killed hundreds of thousands in Iraq and costs trillions.

    February 10, 2014 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  19. wasjustthinking

    well, this just makes Hillary more likable – sorry Rand

    February 10, 2014 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  20. John Riley Goldsmith

    Slick Willy's greatest achievement. He completely fooled both his wife who also thought it wasn't really sex and his daughter.

    February 10, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  21. SLD

    Why do people care about this? Let's dig up everything someone once said and see if we can find something in there that doesn't agree with everything we do and then use it against them. None of our great presidents, from Washington, Lincoln, either Roosevelt, or any of the others could ever withstand the modern day political dirt machine that digs up everything anyone said at any one time.

    And so what if Hillary doesn't like Monica Lewinsky? Duh!!! I wouldn't care for her either if she had sex with my spouse. What is she supposed to say about her?

    February 10, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  22. George Dixon

    Bill Clinton was and is the poster boy for the Democrat's "War on Women" hypocrisy

    February 10, 2014 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  23. harrisonhits2

    And so what if she did ? Any person would call the person caught with their significant other names, and most people a heck of a lot worse than looney tunes.

    I will also point out that when Bill Clinton left office the US had a 50 billion dollar budget surplus that Bush and Cheney desperately tried to give away to their corporate owners for months and used 9/11 as an excuse to do so, the money being gone within days of 9/11. No GOP president has left a budget surplus in modern times, not Reagan, not Bush Sr, not Bush Jr. I would be far more optimistic with Hillary in the White House than any member of the GOP.

    February 10, 2014 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  24. RandyIA

    Why are all the so call independent women, like members of NOW, not telling it like it is. Why aren't they up in arms that Hillary just forgave him and said it was all OK, instead of being a strong women like these groups want and dropped him like a bad habit?

    February 10, 2014 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  25. sly

    Ho ho ho ... gotta love the Republicans with their panties all bummed up.

    "she is a hippie" (Good!)
    "she believes in health care for all citizens" (Good!)
    "she requested increased security for Benghazi, but the Republicans voted it down" (Yup – GOP blood over there).

    Her husband was one of the best US Presidents ever. She will be as well.

    February 10, 2014 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
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