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. SpikeTheCat

    I bet she said something massively vulgar and probably was looking fro her gun.

    February 10, 2014 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  2. smith


    Republicans in particular are a bunch of hypocrites and liars who don't live up to Christian moral standards. Jesus was about helping the poor and did not waste his time calling them lazy and moochers.

    I respect Bill Clinton since he helped the economy more than any other modern President. I hold him in higher regard than Ronald Reagan, who I also respect. I respect Hillary Clinton and think she probably would make a great President. Republicans seem a bit desperate since they don't have a good candidate for President in 2016.

    NAFTA-failure, Repealed the Glass-Steagall Act-Stupid, even liz warren thinks so, and made revisions to the community re-investment act forcing banks to give home loans to people that couldn't afford them-Dumb, ruined the housing market.

    February 10, 2014 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  3. Bob C.

    Yeah, every man commits adultery when the personal problems pile up. This stupid b1tch is rationalizing. Do we really want someone like this to be President? I don't think so.

    February 10, 2014 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  4. jimmyva18

    All you rubberhead Liberals on here defending that PHILANDEREr-IN-CHIEF. He LIED to the America People and obstructed Justice. What an embarrassing couple, these Clinton's. Wow.

    February 10, 2014 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  5. Sharon

    I'm very disappointed in CNN for this National Inquirer style article. Always believed CNN had more class than any of the other News Channels.. Well.. guess you don't.

    February 10, 2014 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. JED

    This story brings back memories of the scandal-racked Clinton administration. Lewinski, bimbo-eruptions, Vince Foster, travel-gate, White-water, etc, etc, etc. Whatever your opinions of Bush and Obama, it has been nice to have a president without this daily embarrassment for the past 12 years. I cannot believe people Rep or Dem would want to go through that again with another Clinton administration. I hope Hilliary doesn't make that a possibility.

    February 10, 2014 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  7. Texas

    Who cares? She might have called her worse. This is a very TMZ article anyway.

    February 10, 2014 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. luc Mcain

    She's not a looney toon, she's just a home wrecker.

    February 10, 2014 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. American Worker

    What's the big deal?
    Isn't such behavior common among Democrats?

    February 10, 2014 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. Bob slightly right

    Didn't read this article or any of y'alls posts. I don't think this Hilary pillow talk is any of my business.

    Make no mistake, perjury by Bill was a serious problem and demeaning to the highest office in the land, but how Hillary coped with the mess is not necessary for public consumption, unless she writes a book about it.

    February 10, 2014 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. Ughh

    What the heck former President Bill Clinton (or anyone else for that matter) saw in Monica Lewinsky is way over my head. Now, if we were talking about Raquel Welch, Christie Brinkley, Cindy Crawford, Jacqueline Smith, Joan Collins, etc., then you've picked a winner...LOL

    February 10, 2014 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  12. Arrgghhh

    Keep it up, Tea Party. That is the reason you will lose the next election. Are we going to have to listen to that for 2 more years? Who cares what she called her. That was kind. Under Clinton, we were all pretty happy. If you want to attach "Loony Toon" to a name, I vote for Bush.

    February 10, 2014 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  13. B

    Poor journalism to focus on the affair rather than the foreign policy or healthcare bits – those are much more meaningful for our country ahead of 2016. Writer should consider moving to Us Weekly...

    February 10, 2014 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  14. Gilmore

    MONICA L. WAS 19 years old.

    How old was Bill Clinton?

    February 10, 2014 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  15. Bo Boris

    About as relevant as Bridge gate!

    February 10, 2014 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  16. Nolita

    I'm way beyond tired of this as I suspect most folks are. I'd much prefer to let this shameful piece of history rest. Having said that, I can see why so many, especially a lot of Hillary supporters, are worried about the effect of what's commonly referred to as Clinton fatigue.

    February 10, 2014 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  17. DJ Reality

    Boy and all this affects what? Nothing absolutely nothing. Boy if this is the kind of things we can expect from conservatives during the run up to 2016 then they need to hire better help. I mean really this is mud? They need to get a grip on reality.

    February 10, 2014 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  18. David

    Poor Monica will never ever live her incident with Bill down.

    February 10, 2014 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  19. oscar

    I can't believe people are seriously thinking about voting for this woman for president someday. She don't even have the guts to leave her cheating husband. What good do you think she will do this country.

    February 10, 2014 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  20. skater

    Who cares what she called her? And it's nobody's business why Hilary stayed with Bill. That's between husband and wife. But let's not be so dismissive about his behavior and diss the republcans – – what the H. has that to do with it?
    Let's put the responsible where it belongs with Bill C. and Monical L. They made bad choices. Political party has nothing to do with it. And can we say this is HISTORY???? Why are we even talking about it now?

    February 10, 2014 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  21. Mark L.

    I ♥ Hillary !! Hillary Rodham Clinton for President in 2016 – All the Way !!

    February 10, 2014 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  22. Fed Up

    "Did Hillary call Monica a Loony Toon?"

    That would be the pot calling the kettle black. Hillary is a top notch Loony Toon herself.

    February 10, 2014 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  23. Bill

    This just in, Abe Lincoln abolished slavery

    February 10, 2014 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  24. Damien B.

    Who cares??? Why is the media still talking about this? This is between Bill and Hillary, no one else. Not important. Our society can be so immature.

    February 10, 2014 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  25. wrm

    So what?

    February 10, 2014 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
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