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. laodegan

    what difference does it make!

    February 10, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  2. 2 Km N of G Zero

    En entire article devoted to Hillary and not one mention of Benghazi; luckily our right-wing nuts who are obsessed with not having President Hillary brought it up in the first post (because that's become the knee-jerk reaction).

    February 10, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  3. Tina

    The other side tried to impeach Clinton. It did not work. And it is over. It did not kill any American. Talk more about the people who sent thousands of American young men to war under lies for their own greedy purposes. These people and their party almost think the same and should be scared of–not trustworthy.

    February 10, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  4. Cheryl

    Hilary's statement is not unusual. How many of us have trashed a woman for messing with our man. I think her comment was quite tame for the situation. If it were me, whether my husband was President or a factory worker, she'd have been a "b" word a million times. It's a human response!

    February 10, 2014 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  5. gin

    Please .......Stop blaming the intern! This was truly an abuse of power! President/intern talk about an unequal playing field. Hillary needs to start placing blame in the appropriate place. Her response to my post I am sure would be "What difference does it make"

    February 10, 2014 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  6. jcvet33

    Yeah, I 'd love to see what she really called her. Just another lie.

    February 10, 2014 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  7. killcourtney

    I love this! Please keep doing this you moronic Rebubtards, women all over the country will turn against you. Please DO NOT STOP! You are the STUPIDIST party of all times!! LMFAO!!

    February 10, 2014 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  8. Hogarth

    If Republicans are thinking this will aid them in defeating Hillary, I believe they are mistaken. The notes as posted here flesh out the story, but in no way put Mrs. Clinton in a bad light. And just as we didn't vote for Bill's wife in 1992, we won't be voting for Hillary's husband in 2016.

    February 10, 2014 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  9. jcvet33

    Yeah. I 'd like to see what she really called her. Just another democratic lie.

    February 10, 2014 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  10. pappy

    I bet she used more words than looney toon.

    February 10, 2014 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. Over It

    My goodness!!!! How many times are we going to have to listen to the same stories over and over? CNN are you having a slow news day or something? Come on. This has been tried in the court of public opinion over and over and they are still electable so who really cares anymore?

    February 10, 2014 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  12. Joe Mahma

    WOAH! Big news there!!!!

    February 10, 2014 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  13. Tiger

    According to DC news sources, Monica was first trying to hit on George Stephanopholis, bringing cappuccinos in to his office, but he knew she was trouble and avoided her. Pity the Prez was not so wise.

    February 10, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  14. Larry

    I'm sure she called Monica worst things than a looney toon. She should be fortunate for that #awomanscorn

    February 10, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  15. penguin

    Bill Clinton's indiscretion is the only selling point Rand Paul has. He has no reason to vote for him. As poor a choice as Christie is becoming, he is a much better choice than Rand Paul. Paul must be the most pathetic Republican in contention for the Republican nomination

    February 10, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  16. Ann

    Who cares? She reacted better than 95% of you would have. Can't we just let this stupid sh** die? I didn't care about it when it came out, and still don't care today.

    Damnit, CNN!

    February 10, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  17. jonjojr

    Here is the "champion" of women rights, who forgives her husband for cheating on her. The ultimate betrayal of a monogamist relationship is for your partner to cheat, and you then blame it on "the deaths of his mother, her father". Yes I am going to go stick to an intern in order to find comfort and someone who would listen to me. Yeah, this is what you call pure hypocrisy.

    February 10, 2014 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  18. I'm sorry, but get real.

    Thanks for the info. We already knew that. Decades ago.

    February 10, 2014 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  19. pip

    This... This is what they have. This is the big reveal. The big thing. The OH NO she's a horrible person thing... This is just pathetic. I mean really? You have to dig back to 16 plus years ago for something like this to throw out there to make her look bad?

    I love how she's damned if she does and damned if she doesn't with this. If she'd left him and divorced him she'd be a bad person for getting divorced. She stayed with him and weathered the storm with him, stayed married, avoided becoming a divorce statistic so she's a bad person. Love it!

    February 10, 2014 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  20. dean morse

    The GOP is desperate. We can look forward to additional attacks on Clinton, as well as any other potential candidate emerge. The Republican Party has not one chance in hell of securing the WH and may just lose the House come election time. The actions that the GOP has taken show no regard for America and everything about getting themselves elected. The GOP has done nothing to move this country forward, following on the words of Mitch McConnell, and do everything possible to ensure that President Obama is a one term President. And we all know how that turned out. The GOP only knows how to lie and mislead, they entire party of GOP is an insult to American politics. Boehner kowtows to the Tea Party extremist because he needs their support to be re-elected to Speaker. Cantor would love to move up the ladder, but it seems someone else has their claws on a possible nomination. Thats what it is all about to the GOP. Climb all over themselves to get elected, then all they do is wash each others hands. Such a load. Just total BS.

    February 10, 2014 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  21. faboge

    why is this "news" again? A political hit job?

    February 10, 2014 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  22. Woody

    All this proves is that Hillary is a good judge of character.

    February 10, 2014 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  23. George

    Sheesh, what's the point of this story?

    February 10, 2014 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  24. Aloisae

    While this is interesting, it really tells us more about Diane Blair's thoughts on these issues than Hillary Clinton's since, at least according to the article, NONE of this is coming from communications penned by Hillary Clinton or recordings of what she said but rather all of it is filtered through the perceptions of Diane Blair. For all we know, this is all a product of selective hearing with Ms. Blair inferring what she wanted to from the conversations and ignoring anything that didn't fit into her view of how Ms. Clinton should feel about the issues.

    February 10, 2014 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  25. sly

    President Bill Clinton: Highest Approval Rating of ANY President since 1949 (60%). (Gallup).

    Hillary Clinton: Best Secretary of State in about 50 years.

    2016 will be a landslide, and if Hillary Clinton runs, we have 8 more years of Progressive America.

    These are great times to be an American. Enjoy life folks.

    February 10, 2014 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
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