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. Roderick

    I think Bill made a mistake in judgement, no doubt about that and I can see how that can happen. What I don't like is this defending this act with these lame excuses. I mean stand up and say your husband was wrong for sticking his (rod) in her mouth...period. Don't give us excuses about mon and dad dying and the evil forces of the vast right wing conspiracy. Just say Bill was wrong, I forgive him and it ain't nobodies business.

    February 10, 2014 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  2. hood1707

    Who cares? I'm surprised that Hillary did not call Monica or Bill far worse. Let's move on to more important things.

    February 10, 2014 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  3. Laura

    I love Bill and Hillary. I don't know why we're still talking about this. I'm not being sarcastic or funny, they really are great people. And the thing about people is that they make mistakes. No one is perfect. I'm not going to sit here and act high and mighty because I have plenty of faults. I don't think this should be anyones business except for the people involved in this. I would be happy not to hear anymore about it and quite frankly after all these years later, there's no point in beating a dead horse. Let the topic go.

    February 10, 2014 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  4. sly

    "Is this the best you can do GOP?"
    Nah, they've also got the Birth Certificate issue.

    Also – I hear the TeaKlan is planning a huge press conference on Jimmy Carter saying he 'lusted in his heart'.

    They've shut up about Affordable Health Care now that it is a stunning success. And the economy? Lowest federal deficit pct in 50 years. Stock Market? All time High. Foreign Bush Oil Wars? Done.

    President Clinton in 2016 will further the progressive Democratic philosophy. These are good times, Americans.

    February 10, 2014 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  5. ireuel

    Like OK, They said she discussed the day she was going to forgive Billy Boy for cheating? That is what they print here, when we all know she knew all about Billy Boys toys he collected. Please Please do not put Hillary in the White house . What I want to know is , what did Vince know that caused him to kill himself.

    February 10, 2014 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  6. Silence DoGood

    If "conservative" was conservative, they attacked the other woman, not the wife.
    I think we have all seen by recent comments and quotes they are not conservative, moral, ethical, or rational. They have courted the conspiracy bunker folks and it is hard to make it look good now.

    February 10, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  7. SuZieCoyote

    So what? She called the other woman a "loony toon?" And a Republican wife wouldn't have? I suspect most women would use far harsher language. The Repbulicans are so lost that *this* is what they use for political fodder? They are so completely out of touch.

    February 10, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  8. freedom

    Democrats are total hypocrites if they support this woman. Where are all the women's rights groups? They approve of a woman staying with a womanizer husband? And he's a multiple offender. We all know she only stayed with him for her own political career path. She needed and still needs him for it – at least in her mind – which is very telling. She lies about her quest for women's rights. Unless that includes using a man in power, no matter how derelict he is, to get to the top. That's not women's rights – that's disgusting and weak.

    February 10, 2014 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  9. John

    Did CNN just report that Hilary could have called Monica a loony toon?

    February 10, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  10. Outsider

    Classic denial. I know people who worked in his office in Arkansas. He was laying serious pipe back then and everyone knew...except for Hillary apparently.

    February 10, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  11. kurtinco

    "Clinton-Lewisnky affair captivated the nation’s attention"...really? The way I remember it, it captivated the attention of the press and republicans...just like it appears to be doing once again. Everyone else, domectically and internationally, were over it 10 months before the house voted to impeach.

    February 10, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  12. De Odorizer

    "did Hillary call Monica a 'loony toon' ? I hope so, because that's what she was, at least back then.
    Bill Clinton screwed up for sure, but that doesn't automatically make other people involved saints and angels.
    Remember the smart and gorgeous Linda Tripp? "I am one of you". Booohooo.

    But seriously, if that's all that Hillary called Monica... I would be disappointed... hahaha

    February 10, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  13. Don

    No more Bushes, NO more Clintons...... In the MILLIONS of Americans SURELY we have someone else!!!!! And please don't elect Michelle either........ eeek!

    February 10, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  14. Joe Goog

    What a coincidence....That's the legacy our current president is successfully building for himself! If it weren't such a fail affecting millions of Americans it would be funny, but it won't change history.

    February 10, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. Steve

    The only good thing I can say about hillary being Sec. of State...it meant she was out of the country more than she was here. If she is elected it will be the biggest mistake this country has ever made. With all the folks sucking on the gov't teet it's pretty clear we will have a Dem President....hopefully the card carrying Dems choose wisely and go a different direction. This coming from an independent voter. Fiscal conservative, social moderate.

    February 10, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  16. gladiatorgrl

    NOBODY CARES!!! Are the fiscal conservatives going to spend MILLIONS again???

    February 10, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  17. emma

    The girl fooled around with Hilary's husband: is it really so unfair that she spoke badly of her? A lot of other women would have called her much worse.

    February 10, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  18. NealR2000

    Bill and Hillary have been husband and wife in name only for many years. They remain together for the image advantages that it brings each of them. Whatever outrage Hillary expressed over the Lewinsky matter was simply based upon it becoming a public matter. Everything in Hillary's eyes is viewed through a political lens. If anything, the Lewinsky matter probably gained Hillary public support.

    February 10, 2014 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. Grumpster

    Calling Monica a Looney Tune is an insult to the Looney Tunes characters and creators....she's far more looney.

    February 10, 2014 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  20. Bookldy209

    No disagreement here.

    February 10, 2014 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  21. Miguel

    Bill Clinton "tried to break it off..." Yah I'm sure Clinton was fighting it all the way....

    February 10, 2014 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  22. tony

    well since money problems are the no one reason for divorce in this country. We can thank Reagan and the GOP for todays divorce rate plus the loss of moral in our children which is caused by the fact that Mom has to work instead of raise children and give them moral guidance. Not to mention she would be home when the children get off the bus and that would keep them off the street and out of trouble. Hiliary was raised it a time when mothers done just that and was give family morals, Hats off to her Mother.
    Maybe if she get elected in 16 there will be a few more mother that will be allowed the same operatunity . A parent shouldn't have to decide between raising a child or feeding a child because a CEO wants a bigger bonus or large salary. which is our biggest problem in this country

    February 10, 2014 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  23. The Real Tom Paine

    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.

    Another example of how littel oxygen gets to some people. The only conspiracy theory you've left out involves the Nation Treasure, and the clues on the back of the Declaration.

    February 10, 2014 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  24. J Ross White

    If Monica is a Looney Tune – what does that make Ms. Piggy (HC). If it was not for Monica, Ms. Piggy would be under Bill's desk looking for a future. Her latest boy friend "Ben Gazi" is typical of her inept failures over the years!. Ms. Piggy should buy a blue dress, lose about 150 pounds and see id the healthcare could get her a brain transplant and a LIFE!
    Thanks Ms. Piggy for all the laughs over the tears – you are pathetic!

    February 10, 2014 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  25. dave

    Pedophile Bill Clinton and his pimp Hillary Clinton are lower than drug dealers.

    February 10, 2014 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
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