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. Fred

    Much more important question. Why did Clinton tell Lewinsky that his phone was bugged and was it the NSA
    bugging the Oval office phone?? Even more important question. Why did the Presidcent accept that bugging
    as a fait de compli.???? Lets see the MSM tackle those questions...

    February 10, 2014 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  2. Paul Cooper

    Wow. Typical Hillary Clinton denial.

    I'm sorry Hillary, but if there was a "narcissistic loony tune" in that "affair", it was the man you're married to.

    February 10, 2014 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  3. Logictox

    Bill took advantage of a 20 year old intern. Talk about a war on women.

    February 10, 2014 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  4. stopdrinkingthekoolaid

    typical democrat – it's always someone else's fault – blame someone else.

    February 10, 2014 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  5. mickinmd

    "In addition to Hillary Clinton's private thoughts..."

    Private thoughts? They're not private any more thanks to CNN's invasion of her privacy are they?

    Yet, CNN cloaks the secrets of its own people, like the fact a former Pres. of CNN – as well as CNN's reporters, editors, etc. played a part in duping the American people during the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Even though that CNN Pres., Walter Isaacson, publicly apologized (http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/btw/watch.html) along with CBS's Dan Rather (who said, "We dropped the ball) on the PBS Bill Moyers' Journal episode "Buying the War" CNN has NEVER run a story on how they acted like "Pravda" instead of a free press. I've NEVER been able to trust the press since them and for the first time in my life know how the people behind the old "Iron Curtain" felt.

    Yet CNN believes it's more important to invade Hilary Clinton's privacy about a non-issue than reporting about itself stabbing the idea of a "free press" in the back!

    February 10, 2014 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  6. OrmondGeorge

    With the passage of time, Future President Clinton's supposed observations about Lewinsky seem fairly accurate for the time.

    THIS is what Republicans are worried about. The idea of it will stir up the "Conservative" base and give the rest of us one more reason to vote for her:

    "the Washington Free Beacon reported that 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."

    So, now, decades later, with STRONG foreign policy credentials, IF SHE RUNS, she wins.

    February 10, 2014 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  7. timmy

    right or wrong, i don't understand why people are still obsessed with what bill clinton did with his 'unit' many years ago.

    February 10, 2014 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  8. al

    Low class crooks always forgive other crooksQ!!

    February 10, 2014 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  9. davecu

    What difference, at this point, does it make?

    February 10, 2014 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  10. kevin

    Guess Bill wasn't getting any at home?

    February 10, 2014 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  11. JakeF

    Who could blame her for lashing out? I'll reserve my judgment for Hillary and allow those of you who have never been wronged in your life espouse your faux outrage.

    February 10, 2014 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  12. Jim Jimson

    Oh, right, it was stress that caused him to have an affair. Doesn't say much about one's ability to be President if you can't keep your trousers zipped. As for Hillary trying to defend him by criticizing Lewinski that is quite pathetic and will be one of many reasons she will not get the nomination.

    February 10, 2014 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  13. johno54

    Why is this news? I quite agree with Mrs. Clinton's apt description of Ms. Lewinsky especially as she was the injured party. I have heard more reasonable persons who have said far worst things of persons who have threatened their marriage and relationships.
    I even admire the wisdom of Mrs. Clinton not to destroy her marriage with her husband because of a bunch of social bullies who it would seem saw a moment in time when she would rise to be such a tour de force in our nation.
    This is just another bunch of sour grapes being tossed around hoping that it will make more vinegar than vintage wine. This is not news, this is just another sabot being thrown into our socio political engine.

    February 10, 2014 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  14. Errol Neal

    Umm.. whatever she needed to tell herself to FORGIVE HER HUSBAND WHO WAS THE POTUS at the time is her business.
    Nothing to see her folks..

    February 10, 2014 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  15. Ted

    You mean to tell me that the President can't decide who has access to him and his office!? Come on! If he really wanted to keep her away and control the situation he would have.... The President was looking to score and we all know it.

    February 10, 2014 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  16. ChrisM

    This is really old news.

    February 10, 2014 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  17. kevin flannigan

    She should know one, we she sees one.

    February 10, 2014 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  18. Anonymous

    Seriously! Who cares, hopefully the world has moved on from this. Whatever Mrs Clinton's reasons were for staying with her husband is not really anyone else's business, it's a personal decision. Is this really who we are as a society? Gossip mongers and haters, really need to get over it for crying out loud. There are so many other issues of immediate importance for this country and we waste our time on something that happened so many years ago and the only reason it mattered then was because Ken Starr said it mattered, Sheep being led astray by wolves. How many other politicians that are critical of the Clinton's have done far worse to this country by either ignoring or voting against the will of the people and preventing serious discussion and action on the needs of our society as a whole. Better for Bill Clinton to have screwed up in a private area of his life that mattered than to have purposely screwed each one of us over, at least he tried to move the country forward while trying to address the needs of all the people and not losing sight of the desires of business, that's more than can be said for his successor. I am neither a democrat or republican, I am an independent who has voted for both depending on who I believed was the right person for the job not the party so no discussion necessary on any loyalty to either the Clinton's or a political affiliation. People just need to growup and move beyond this utter nonsense and concentrate more on where we are going as a society and stop worrying so much about something that is so insignificant. People are out of work, healthcare, infrastructure, education, the environment, debt ceiling looming, immigration, tax reform, and so many other issues of importance need to be addressed, yet this is what is of interest to small minded people, really? Seems to me someone is missing the big picture here.

    February 10, 2014 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  19. Gurgyl

    Now, they both are happy–that is the BOOTOM-LINE. That's what people care. Yes, Hillary16.

    February 10, 2014 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  20. hkirwin

    Denial is best served cold.

    February 10, 2014 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  21. Pat

    Thought he was a serial cheater throughout thekr marriage. What are those excuses?

    February 10, 2014 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  22. Nailer

    It was not Hillary"s fault, right? It really doesn't matter!!!

    February 10, 2014 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  23. Clarke

    How about we just move passed it.

    February 10, 2014 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  24. DanaRi

    It doesn't matter. Our schools are failing and the middle class is struggling, and this is the news?
    This is a complete failure of the press.

    February 10, 2014 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  25. rob

    I would say more like a bobble head than loony toon.

    February 10, 2014 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
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