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. Marcus

    I stepped on your foot. Sorry, that was a mistake. Unzipping my pants, whipping out my little friend and getting a BJ was not accidental, but a decision I made because I couldn't cope maturely with my limitations as a man and as a husband.

    February 10, 2014 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  2. Davo

    Funny to see one commenter spin this on Bush spending too much of the Treasury. Blind followers are the most retarded.

    February 10, 2014 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  3. Jan

    And this is part of what limits the number of people who could be great leaders from entering politics: living their lives in a fishbowl where words spoken "to a close friend" are taken from their context and paraded about in public for all to quote, misquote, condemn, and/or extol. It is getting hard for even "nobodies" to have a private life, and that is a problem.

    February 10, 2014 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. K. Ferrel

    She has the right to call whatever she wants, Monica lost her self respect and therefore gave up the right to be called everything but a lady.

    Need i say more?

    February 10, 2014 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  5. Pandamonius

    Seriously? Has the GOP become so inept that they feel the need to bring THIS out against her?

    February 10, 2014 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  6. Fred Jones

    Holy crap, you all are still talking about Monica Lewinsky? Did you figure out who won World War 2 yet? How about who was President at the turn of the last century? Get a life – this isn't 1996, this is 2014 and we have bigger trash dominating our headlines like Michelle Bachmann, John Boehner and Eric Cantor!!

    February 10, 2014 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  7. K. Ferrel

    She has the right to call whatever she wants, Monica lost her self respect and therefore gave up the right to be called a lady.

    Need i say more?

    February 10, 2014 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  8. Delores Williams

    I am trying to figure out what the purpose of outing this is. Since it was a conservative paper that did it at first, it was clearly to keep rehashing that old record from last century to supposedly embarrass the one who got cheated on. Second, Monica got off light if all she got called was a loony toon...really light. Considering her history of affairs with married men, she got off easy. I guess it's payment enough that she basically lives in hiding since no one will hire her. Doesn't pay to be a mistress.

    February 10, 2014 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  9. Patricia

    I was really surprised to see this as the lead story on CNN. Really? Are you kidding? I thought I had switched to People magazine. A bunch of garbage that I have no desire to read.

    February 10, 2014 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain - If you want Congress to actually do something FOR the American people, vote OUT the repub/tea bag majority

    @Josh: "Communist News Network has so many hand-out lovers. So sad. GET A JOB PEOPLE AND PAY TAXES"

    Ah, that old saw, that Liberals don't work or pay taxes. And yet, Blue states have higher per-capita income and take less in federal money than they contribute (in contrast to Red states).


    February 10, 2014 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  11. Davo

    I voted for Clinton one of two times. Overall more good than bad – unlike the two that followed him. But there WAS damage by Clinton's bad behavior. POTUS is a pillar of our country's great system of government. It is care-taken by a Presider for a brief period. The President has a duty to uphold its image, not create entertainment as an afternoon soap opera for the world.

    February 10, 2014 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  12. Scott

    She probably did but "at this point what difference does it make?" I'm tired of pre-determined candidates and Washington insiders. I hope Senator Warren puts her name in!!

    February 10, 2014 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  13. Geez

    I don't know which is more pathetic, the losers who are dredging this stuff up thinking it's even close to relevant or harmful, or CNN, who perpetuated it. We are talking marginally relevant ancient history, and it's pretty clear Monica Lewinsky was a narcissistic loony toon.

    February 10, 2014 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  14. BigJolie

    Aww the Hillary machine in motion.
    Next article will be dmg controll on?

    February 10, 2014 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  15. Phil in the Blanks

    I am wondering what Hilary said that was incorrect. It is nothing less than what I have always thought about Lewinsky's behavior. Desperate people do desperate thing and what in someone's life makes them so desperate to do what she did. Even someone who is starving and needed money should avoid that type of situation to survive...and yet Lewinsky was never once in survival mode, unless we are talking about the survival of her ego.

    February 10, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  16. Seriously

    How is this a news story? Has CNN turned into TMZ?

    February 10, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  17. Samuel Johnston

    You'll note who dug this story of of the trash. The good 'ole God fearing conservative frauds.

    If anything it shows just how tough Hilary Clinton is. More b-lls then those phonies who dug this up. And least Bill was chasing the skirts and not pants in the Congressional hallways.

    February 10, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  18. Dee in Missouri

    Well it's none of our business if they aren't running the country and in the position to be BLACK MAILED. What if Hillary didn't know?? She forgave him because of the power thing she could care less about him as a lover/mate. My opinion, only.

    February 10, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  19. Matt

    Hillary has no accomplishments to her name. Not one. How will she fight the War on Women meme whjile Bill Clinton is still her husband.

    February 10, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  20. metcalf106

    Why is this a story? Will CNN be calling Rand Paul to see what to cover next? Sheesh.

    February 10, 2014 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  21. The Truth

    There's only one loony tune here ... HRC ... anybody that would stick with a philanderer like Bill Clinton is only doing so for personal gain. Disgusting.

    February 10, 2014 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  22. Susiesmowbird

    This is the headline?! What have you become CNN? Where's your credibility???

    February 10, 2014 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  23. Rob

    When CNN wants apologist comments for Hillary or Obama, you can bet the story will be placed on the "Political Ticker". Between her outright lies about Benghazi and long history of throwing women (in this case a girl) under the bus in furtherance of her political ambitions, Hillary should not be held up by anyone as presidential material.

    February 10, 2014 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  24. Sean

    Only 2014 and Paul is already grasping at this straw? A man with this kind of intellect and strategic vision is just who we need as OUR president. Oops...just vomited in my mouth when I re-read this........

    February 10, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  25. Jessica

    I agree with everything HRC said in the article except the part where she blames his unethical behavior on recent deaths. I don't feel she should make excuses for him. Also, the Lewinsky affair was not the first for him.

    February 10, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
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