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. Tim Blackwell

    Wow, Hillary is quite the misogynist if this is true. Couple this revelation along with the Vince Foster murder and cover up she's involved with, and only the lowest information voters would consider Hillary in 2016.

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

    Oh yes, she's very civil, as could be seen by her insane reaction to Gadaffi's lynching and murder.

    February 10, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  3. An intelligent voice

    Who the heck cares? It's gone, it's over, it's done...it's the past, look to the future. Don't stop thinking about tomorrow – yesterday's gone.

    February 10, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  4. Darth Obama

    C'mon give me a break, Hillary Clinton didn't leave Bill because he was the president, and a popular president at that. She would have committed career suicide if she left him. We all knew she was eyeing the presidential seat even back then.

    February 10, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  5. Herb666

    Hillary is the Dems front runner because, second only to Barack, she is the Dems most Marxist candidate.

    February 10, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  6. disgruntled_girl

    I'd call anyone a "narcissistic loony toon," if they save a semen stain dress for any reason other then rape evidence.

    February 10, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  7. Common Sense

    so, by Bill's logic, and the pandering excuse-making by the heir-apparent First Leb, I lost three grandparents and a sister, this qualifies me to have sex with other women besides my wife.....Wow, the lengths a narcissist will go to explain immoral behavior! And we need to have her as President!!!??? Methinks not

    February 10, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  8. guest123598765

    The funny thing about the conservatives pouncing on documents from 1993 is that if this was their candidate they would say "it's ancient history", "people change", etc... I don't trust politicians (any of them – either side) but honestly in the grand scheme of political blunders this is silly. Clinton was a good president and a shitty husband – he had a consensual affair and his wife opted to forgive him (many women do, both in the public eye and couples out of the public eye). If this is all they can dig up on her, they'd better find a real candidate for president in 2016 so they can stop crying about how horrible everything is and how the liberals are ruining everything.

    February 10, 2014 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |

    The Guns Over People tea potty wingnuts are terrified of Hillary. They are so desperate, they have to bring up Monica.

    February 10, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  10. Tom

    When Paul brings up Hillary can Hillary bring up his old mans racist writings ?

    February 10, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    This is certainly an attack on her character – and it's justified. We need to look at the character and experience of any person we consider for POTUS. It does no good for her supporters to either deny that these are huge character flaws. Flaws she shares with politicians on both sides – but to act like she is different – just discounts your rebuttals and the value of your support.

    For too long now we have elected our politicians on their celebrity, their looks, their color, or their sex. Look what that has gotten us. Poverty is worse that when we went to war against it. Crumbling infrastructure, failed schools, hollow inner cities, unfounded liabilities that will cripple this nation. So look long and hard at accomplishments (not titles) and character. It matters.

    February 10, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  12. Nick

    Go Hillary!

    February 10, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  13. CryBabies

    Who cares? Our individual feelings regarding HC will not be swayed by this "revelation". One either likes or dislikes her and will vote accordingly.

    February 10, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  14. fargo

    oh my lord WHO CARES?? Are we seriously going to dredge this stuff up after so many years? I'm trying to cling to the Republican party but I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet and register as an Independent. I'm no fan of the Clinton's but this tabloid sort of attack should be beneath us. There is plenty of ammunition based on Hillary Clinton's policies that can be attacked but to go after her for her husband's affairs (16 years ago) is only going to backfire and dredge up sympathy. Can we just get a moderate NORMAL republican front and center instead of the crazies like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz? Do any exist anymore?

    February 10, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  15. TheMovieFan

    Given that Monica was the other woman in the cheating, Hillary can say whatever she wants about her.

    February 10, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  16. Voig Nederlander

    Love all those "family values" neo-cons advocating for Hillary and Bill's divorce. Thanks for showing us yet another of your many faces, folks. You truly are upstanding Christians, encouraging forgiveness, understanding and family.

    February 10, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  17. CD

    They can't find anything on her, so they go after her husband, how low can they go, maybe her birth certificate is next.

    February 10, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  18. 2L

    I don't get it – what is she supposed to say??

    February 10, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  19. Reality

    Whether she did or didn't does not matter. This story doesn't matter. Seriously?

    February 10, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  20. charles Gannon

    Yes, I do think that a wife has the right to call her husbands girlfriend a "loony toon"

    February 10, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  21. Older&Experienced

    It's FUNNY how I saw things differently 12 – 20 years ago in my twenties. I saw things in black and white never even considering that people were different. I saw things through the naive prism of my own life.

    Fast forward a decade or two and having dealt with my own trials and tribulations I see things very different.

    People are different. People do not need to adhere to my sense of right or wrong as long as they do not harm me. Gray has replaced black and white on most issues.

    I didn't vote for Bill because I was young and naive. In hindsight the country was pretty decent at the time and having endured my own trial and tribulation I can understand his. Should Hillary run, I will give her the same consideration as I would any candidate.

    February 10, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  22. Samuel

    Seriously...who cares? Two consenting adults, end of story.

    February 10, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  23. herrer

    If your husband was cheating on you how would you react?

    February 10, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  24. Uhhhwhaaaaat?

    That's it? Wow, now wonder he did it and didn't care. I used to get in more trouble for not vacuuming the rear floor mats in our SUV!

    February 10, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  25. are122

    LOL, one loony toon to the other. Poor Hilary. If it wasn't for Bill she might still be a small town lawyer...that is if she could pass the bar exam.

    February 10, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
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