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. Anonymous

    ...And this is news? Why???
    CNN has now joined the ranks of trash magazines...

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

    A bunch of idiots.

    February 10, 2014 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. sly

    1999 news stories?

    The TeaKlan know's Hillary Clinton is the next President. They are starting their Swift Boating way too early.

    1999? Wow – I don't even think they had computers back then ....

    February 10, 2014 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  4. 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 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. keven

    Ummm, I think looney would be kindest thing you could say about a women who inserts a cigar .....

    February 10, 2014 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  6. joni

    This is ridiculous and pathetic!
    I remember Hillary told Diane Sawyer, it wasn't true... that it was a right wing conspiracy and the truth would come out some day. What a CROCK!!!

    February 10, 2014 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. ib4ucy

    Hillary the feminist – stays with cheating dog husband! Nuf sed

    February 10, 2014 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  8. Name

    If the shoe fits.

    February 10, 2014 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  9. Phillp Bunn

    I called my neighbor's wife a strumpet. Is that news?

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

    Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jo-leeen I'm begging of you please don't take my man.

    February 10, 2014 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  11. Richard Hode

    CNN is an imbecile network for featuring this completely inconsequential story. What the hell is the matter with you people there? Tired of counting your pubic hairs? What a bunch of asses you are.

    February 10, 2014 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  12. Lincoln Douglas

    officially the last day I ever visit this site. worse than National Enquirer.

    February 10, 2014 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  13. Connie

    This is ridiculous. CNN – where do you go to get headlines? The streets of America where people have real problems? No, you dig up a supposed comment a wife made when she found out her husband was cheating. If someone wants to stay married to a philandering husband, that's her business. I suppose Hillary did it because she knew she would great dividends in the future, esp. if she ran for office. I would vote for her. But to bring up this nonsense, is just that. Where is the real news these days.

    February 10, 2014 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  14. dina

    She was absolutely right. That woman, Lewinsky was a looney toon.Imagine what she did. How stupid was that? She brought down a good president with her stupid behavior. She is worst than a looney toon. This isn't even a story.Print the news, not gossip.

    February 10, 2014 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. jhag39

    No wonder Slick Willie was attracted to Monica. They have much in common. They're both narcissitic looney toons. He is serial womanizer and if you believe he tried to "break it off" you are giving him far too much credit

    February 10, 2014 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. Chris

    And this is the day CNN finally jumps the shark.

    February 10, 2014 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  17. Diane L.

    It is such a disappointment that this once terrific News outlet thinks this merits being on the first page.....

    February 10, 2014 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  18. Tell Me More CNN

    CNN, really? YOU are pathetic. Front page news? Try comparing YOUR front page news to everyone else..... just try it once. Are you embarrassed? Do you feel like a little who tramp media outlet? You should.

    February 10, 2014 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. DM

    And, their marriage choices are our business because??????.....
    Some "friend" the two of them ended up being. Publishing the details of a friendship in the name of "history" or "disclosure". With friends like this Ms. Clinton surely needs no enemies.

    February 10, 2014 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. Dude

    don't care

    February 10, 2014 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  21. Joe

    Wow CNN you keep topping yourself every day with garbage

    February 10, 2014 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    This is a news story why exactly? I guess the Republican propaganda machine is gearing up.

    February 10, 2014 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. RJ1008

    I didn't know that FOX news controls CNN too. This news item is disgusting on many levels, not to mention how irrelevant it is today. While TPublicans are busy destroying political opponents instead of serving the nation, Democrats always talk about issues and what matters to the average American. If people fail to see the contrast between both parties and vote for GOP again, then I say they deserve to go through tough times which will always follow when GOP is in power.

    February 10, 2014 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  24. gb333

    If the statistics are right, you are probably being cheated on or cheating.

    Don't judge.

    February 10, 2014 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  25. DaveYoung

    Hillary needed to ride on Bill`s two seater for a while so she could run for Dictator in Chief. She doesn`t care about her marriage – it`s just a platform for her ambition. I dread the day we might actually elect this hag.

    February 10, 2014 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
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