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. Josh

    Communist News Network has so many hand-out lovers. So sad.

    February 10, 2014 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  2. Douglas

    Much ado about nothing... I suppose we should be thankful that there's nothing more urgent for today's headlines. Sheesh. She probably had stronger names for Monica than "loony tune". Big effin' deal.

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

    And this is front page news?.... Seems fishy, Like theres a hidden agenda to it?.

    February 10, 2014 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  4. jimmie

    The REAL reason Hillary wants to be in the White House is so she can GET EVEN by having a big stud in the oval office.

    February 10, 2014 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  5. cegluna

    Unimportant "news", let alone breaking/lead story. Private musings not intended for public consumption. Move along.

    February 10, 2014 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. zonquiel

    Here we go.
    The RepubliCants are scared to death of Hillary Clinton.
    The "stories" are going to start coming out of the woodwork and out from underneath every rock in an attempt to discredit her.
    Actually, I would have called Monica a lot worse than what Hillary did.

    February 10, 2014 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  7. Robert

    Gowdy President 2016

    February 10, 2014 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  8. Andy

    Time to send this cow to the dust bin of history

    February 10, 2014 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. dorsh44

    She forgave him for no other reason to extend her sham political marriage thereby keeping her political ambitions alive. America is not ready for a divorcee president regardless of it making no difference in the grand scheme of things.

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

    Ms. Lewinsky was certainly guilty of poor judgment and lack of moral character, however this was not the first time President Clinton reportedly had been involved in an extramarital relationship. We can all blame our decisions on anything, a personal loss, loneliness, power, whatever but it comes down to recognizing ethical behavior. President Clinton knows, or should have known what that was.

    February 10, 2014 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  11. f broyles

    If loony toons is all she called her she is lucky .you republicans are so sick

    February 10, 2014 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  12. Wisdom Owl

    Stop, OMG that is history. lets rock the economy and assist those who are suffering in the world. What an evil mankind we are, either you master your thoughts or you go below the level of a beast. move on

    February 10, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  13. Terri

    I would have called her worse than that.

    February 10, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    So "Bubba" has a thing for "Loony Toons!" I think he left a bad taste in Monica's mouth. :))

    February 10, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    OLD, old story. Who cares now? Let's move on to something relevant.

    February 10, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  16. jim

    don't feel bad monica, that's what she called those in Benghazi who called for help too. everyone who opposes her political ambitions is a looney . . . and if your a women it's easier to sweep you under the carpet with liberals because they just assume your on there side..

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

    Do we really care about the incompetency of Hillary Clinton? I think most intelligent people already knew her Political interest over Country!

    February 10, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  18. sammy750

    So What?

    February 10, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. RW0r1d

    At this point in time, there is only one response, "WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?"

    February 10, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. glenview0818

    Ya, it was Monica Lewinskyi's fault, perfect logic for a perspective presidential candidate. Talk about a looney toon. Really, if this happened to you, what would you do, as a reasonable person.

    February 10, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. dmz8952

    Boring. Get over it.

    February 10, 2014 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  22. who c ares

    Somebody please explain who cares what she called Monica and I'm surprised that was all. Must be a slow news day.

    February 10, 2014 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. FajitaBob

    Hmmmmmm...pretty sure she was refering to Bill...

    February 10, 2014 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  24. greenaxe

    Show some respect to your future president....btw I have been non stop gainfully employed for 35 years and counting, so I don't rely on handouts like the ussumptions made by the disgruntled righties.

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

    Furthermore...the only person in this world that should give two hoots about whether or not he cheats is her. I don't ask my friends or family who they sleep with and I don't care who politicians sleep with. Their spouses are the only ones have any right to know.

    February 10, 2014 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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