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. jorge washinsen

    Bill said there was no affair and I believe him.

    February 10, 2014 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. Lance

    WHOOOOO CAAAAARES??????!!!!! this is not news

    February 10, 2014 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. Mike

    Are we sure she wasn't referring to Bill when she used the term "narcissistic loony toon"?

    February 10, 2014 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  4. Really?

    What about Paula Jones or Jennifer Flowers, were they just lapses too? Bill showed how much his respects his wife and remember she's not Tammy Wynette. What an embarassment for women everywhere. I would have kicked his sorry cheating butt out a long time ago.

    February 10, 2014 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  5. Jake Coltrane

    Stop it, CNN. We're not discussing 2016 election candidates this early.

    February 10, 2014 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  6. woodie

    Lewinsky was delusional. But we already knew that. Nothing new here.

    February 10, 2014 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Calling someone a loony toon and shutting down a bridge are apples and oranges.

    February 10, 2014 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  8. Mike in SA

    If Monica was a "narcissistic loony toon", then what the heck did that make Bill? Seriously, here's the leader of the free world caught in his umpteenth tryst, risking it all to diddle an average-looking twenty-something intern. That's not crazy??? That's not narcissistic???

    February 10, 2014 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  9. William Carrell

    Ya think Monica was the only one, if so then you are no smarter than the idiot hillary dillary.

    February 10, 2014 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  10. Emwarr

    Ok, so this happened how many years ago?? And the woman cheated on her husband for gods sake!! So she called her a name...what is the big fricken deal??? Is there nothing more news worthy than this load of tripe?

    February 10, 2014 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  11. sara

    If she truly was a friend she never would have included that information in public papers.

    February 10, 2014 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  12. Kathy LaGullo

    Must be a slow news day if you are going back to the Clinton Adminstration for your headlines. Can we please raise the bar with regards to what is news and what isn't.

    Sad CNN...very sad....

    February 10, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  13. William Carrell

    I guess Bengazi was Monica's fault, huh hillary dillary. All Monica did was satisfy a man you could not, you actually had a hand in murdering Americans.

    February 10, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  14. Kristy

    Wasn't this 18 years ago? Who cares what Hilary thinks of Monica?! She is an intelligent woman in a great position of power, I think she would have had the grace to realize that whatever she said would come back to her. In my opinion, calling her a "narcissistic loony tune" is relatively benign to what I might say about a woman that slept with my husband. Leave Hilary alone. The real loony tune is already in the white house. Doesn't CNN have a new Kardashian selfie to report or something?

    February 10, 2014 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  15. El Duce

    Hillary Clinton raped numerous women while Bill was in the white house. One of them was cathy obrien.

    February 10, 2014 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  16. Lateris

    Every marriage on Earth has issue. I am voting for Hillary in 2016.

    February 10, 2014 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  17. Pronob Ashwin

    Since when did CNN become a tabloid?

    February 10, 2014 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  18. Cyborg1939

    Please remember where the deed was done-in the Oval Office! Pathetic.

    February 10, 2014 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  19. DeJa

    Wow, pull the skeletons out the closet why don'tcha?
    This post is a DISTRACTION to fool you into focussing on the wrong things.
    How long ago did this happen? Exactly, let's sweep it from under the rug and out the door!
    Hilary Clinton did what a good woman would do, she forgave.
    Let that be a lesson to you.

    Let's focus on things that are CURRENT and affecting our DAY TO DAY lives rather than 15 year old gossip!

    February 10, 2014 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  20. Leigh

    Jeez. She could've called her a lot worse. "Narcissistic loony toon" seems to fit fairly well, though.

    February 10, 2014 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  21. Name

    Why is this news CNN report on actual news leave this to TMZ? Embarrassed for you...

    February 10, 2014 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  22. Watson

    1. I don't care for Hillary and would never vote for her.
    2. As Bill's wife, she gets to call the adulteress who came between her and her husband any thing she wants!
    3. How is this the lead story on cnn.com? Seriously?

    February 10, 2014 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  23. Mike

    Fr33th1nk3r – "What law did the President break by getting a BJ in the oval office? Do they still enforce adultery prison time in your neck of the woods in the deep south?" Ever heard of lying under oath?

    February 10, 2014 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  24. biglio

    enough already!
    give it a rest.....forever.

    February 10, 2014 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  25. Mary

    Heaven help us from blabbermouths who cannot keep a friend's personal business to herself even after her own death. Don't tell anyone anything is the best policy.

    February 10, 2014 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
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