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. BO

    We don't need an old worn out hag with fainting spells as president.

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

    This is seriously the headline story on CNN. MSNBC and Fox are bad enough with their fake news. Where can someone go to get real news? Any ideas?

    February 10, 2014 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  3. sean

    unreal that this is on the front page of CNN. this network should fire all of its staff and start over

    February 10, 2014 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  4. Erika

    Really??? Who cares??? 1. What happens in their marriage is between them. 2. Its not like she threatened her or called her something inappropriate... She supposedly called her "Looney Toons." There is a huge difference. 3. Since I do know what happened, I would like to state, I think she has a right to call her that. Maybe even a little worse.

    February 10, 2014 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. Slow News Day

    Must be a slow news day.

    February 10, 2014 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  6. juju

    Looks like big money republican backers are out trying to dig up trash to trash anyone that might run against their future candidate. Dirty dirty politics as usual. UGH

    February 10, 2014 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  7. Mary

    So, the wife who was clearly a victim in this, is now going to be raked over the coals for the GOP hopeful's political gain?
    I guess there is no low too low for the GOP..

    February 10, 2014 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. Sid Prejean

    The people of the United States didn't give much of a crap about this...while it was happening! The Republicans tried to impeach and remove a President against the wishes of more than 70% of America.
    Who cares what Hillary Clinton said about the woman with whom her husband was cheating on her? Didn't care then. Don't care now.

    February 10, 2014 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  9. Wes

    Will Hill dawg be coming out before or after the election?

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

    REALLLY ! this is the best you can do? this is front Page ? No wonder I never watch cnn. what a waste

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

    And this is on the first page of the CNN website because..........??????

    February 10, 2014 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. Billby Bobbo

    Wow....this is the best the republicans can do to stop the Hillary train? Ain't gonna cut it.

    February 10, 2014 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  13. Mom of 3

    The only loony toon here is Hilary herself. I have no respect for this woman and will actively campaign against her if she runs. I would have had more respect for her if she had left him. She only does what she thinks the people want her to do. She is a puppet!

    February 10, 2014 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  14. sps2011

    It seems Hillary's love for Bill was platonic at best. And it probably started the moment she realized his potential and ditched her boyfriend in college. He would be the vehicle for her to achieve her ambitions of power and she wasn't about to let Monica Lewinsky derail her goals by ditching Bill during the scandal.

    February 10, 2014 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  15. John

    Who is Monica Lewinsky

    February 10, 2014 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  16. Steve Kelly

    This is your lead story???

    February 10, 2014 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  17. Sam

    She had her on ambitions, it nothing but damage control. Don't get fool, she is worst than Bill, and she's got the hit list.

    February 10, 2014 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  18. Rinsewind

    Jesus, are we still talking about Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton? CNN, why is this your headline? There are plenty of things to legitimately criticize HRC for. This is not one of them.

    February 10, 2014 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  19. jamie

    Why is this coming up again????? WHO STILL CARES!!!!!!!!!

    February 10, 2014 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  20. Cat

    Wow..this is not news. Hillary Clinton had to recover from a very public breach of trust from her HUSBAND...she not only had to process this hurt as a woman but she had to hold her head up and continue to be an example as the first lady. The people who keep dredging this up should be ashamed of themselves. She handled herself with class all the way through. I hope Hillary is aughing at this article knowing that if this is all you have to say about her, she's golden!!

    February 10, 2014 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  21. libby

    I didn't even read the article. The headline told me how low CNN has sunk to. I thought this was supposed to be journalism, not the National Inquirer...

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

    This is a very important story. Rand Paul is obviously a genius. What other powerful arguments does he have for getting a TeaPublican in the White House?

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

    Boy,,,CNN must really be hard up for news this evening........................................

    February 10, 2014 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  24. Ibrahim

    She,ll be 1 female president

    February 10, 2014 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  25. clarence hall

    If she called Monica a "Loony toon"does that mean that she is not qualified to be president? Where is the news ?

    February 10, 2014 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
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