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. Texas Anne

    Seriously, are we going to rehash this garbage again after how many years?
    Hillary wasn't the one who had the affair, and Bill isn't running for anything. So what the h- is the point of bringing this back up to begin with.

    February 10, 2014 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  2. jim slimmer

    And this is a authorized book by Hillery or hearsay by TMZ.

    CNN forgot to clarify this ,

    I would like to know so I can be the judge of this books relevance to my give a S meter inside my head.

    February 10, 2014 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  3. Robert

    I'm a conservative but all of this is total bull crap now, complete history. Good Lord, if you looked behind the walls of most presidents in this country all would have disgraces, well do. People make mistakes, shut up about this crap and discuss significant issues of the day. Rand Paul is an idiot making this of any importance whatsoever!

    February 10, 2014 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  4. MPOV

    Looney report .... Nothing here...move on.

    February 10, 2014 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Bill was never impeached, as this article states... impeachment proceedings were begun, but he was never impeached; he served two full terms.

    February 10, 2014 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  6. Jack Leiter

    CNN, please go back to being a reputable news source. How much further are you going to sink?

    February 10, 2014 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  7. pdisken

    "What DIFFERENCE does it make ?" 🙂

    February 10, 2014 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  8. you

    I'm sure she called her a LOOOT MORE than just a "Loony Toon"

    February 10, 2014 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  9. northerstar

    Why does anyone think that the GOP would release this NOW ? These papers are in a public library with access to anyone. IF the GOP wanted to use this against Hillary, the GOP would WAIT until she at least announced that she was going to run, or just before the actual election. With this "early" release, this will be old news well before Hillary decides what she is going to do. More like the Dems wanted the story out sooner-than-later.
    I don't doubt the GOP would/will use Bill's behavior, but the GOP would have WAITED. Releasing it this EARLY is more likely something the Dems would do to get the information out into the open and have it die down well before Hillary decides to run or not. It will be OLD news very quickly.

    February 10, 2014 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  10. drturi

    lolol this is history repeating itself... Check the French News about Obama affair with Beyonce? Google "ObamaGate, Heroin use explosion, religious war, its just the beginning...dr.turi" to read it all, be the first ones – Dr. Turi is CNN before CNN!

    February 10, 2014 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  11. magnum12

    Seems to me that Hillary is the loony toon for standing by her man slick Willy. Not to mention all the libbies who approve of his immoral conduct.

    February 10, 2014 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  12. jim slimmer

    C to the N to the N is dead, its TMZ now.

    February 10, 2014 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  13. ALLEN

    You can't believe either of the Clinton's!

    February 10, 2014 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  14. jay

    There is just no way Hillary didn't know- just look at that pic. Industrial engine cleaner couldn't get all that lipstick off of Bill's – oh, never mind...

    February 10, 2014 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Ron Paul? The Nazi guy? (Google search it) is trying to throw stones?

    February 10, 2014 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Not really sure why it's important to post a personal conversation someone had over an affair. That's all private/out of bounds stuff and has no bearing on her ability to run for office. I'm sure spouses have said a lot worse than what is being reported. Leave it alone!

    February 10, 2014 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  17. lionhart

    Really CNN? Really? This is your lead news story? I can see CNN's next headline. "20 year old man has his first poop 20 years ago." Give me a break!!!

    February 10, 2014 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  18. scott1966

    Please. Let's stop pretending that Monica was some kind of abberation that came as a shock to Mrs. Clinton. There were dozens before her and have been dozens since. She knew her role, and the American people knew it back in 1992 when she went on 60 Minutes to lie for and cover for her husband's affair with Gennifer Flowers. Her reaction was, at best, "why weren't you more careful, now I have to go out and humiliate myself again – you owe me at least a Senate seat for this!".

    February 10, 2014 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  19. Virginia

    I still think Lewinsky was trying to set Bill up. I am not sure who all benefits and who could have sent her, but it just is too convenient that she kept her dress, REALLY? not even wash, or give away, or throw out?

    February 10, 2014 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  20. CNN WHY??

    A cat fight is your top story?

    February 10, 2014 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  21. goodshepparddesign

    Gee, 15 years ago, something happened...

    February 10, 2014 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  22. mike

    This is the top story? When did CNN turn into the NY Post?

    February 10, 2014 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  23. jj

    So what? Hillary stayed married to her husband and this is in the past. Let's look to the future, where she is going to be elected president.

    February 10, 2014 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  24. Nicole

    Who cares? I'll still vote for her!

    February 10, 2014 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Why is this even on here? This is so stupid

    February 10, 2014 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
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