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. Mel Stricker

    Must be a slow news day for CNN. Then again, it appears that every day is a slow news day. CNN seems to be trying to find a spot in the journalism business that is below that of the National Enquirer. Almost there guys, keep up the good work.

    February 10, 2014 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  2. Nunya

    I guess the left only feels that policy discussion is fair game in the "War on Women". When one of their own has shown an actual ongoing discounting and demeaning of women by his behavior, this isn't news, it's his personal life and he is a hero. Or when the wife of that person wants to blame the impacted women or other influences on her husband's behavior, it isn't news, it's her personal life and she is a hero. You can't say only one side is waging a "War on Women" with their policy while the other side is ignoring the collateral damage actually being inflicted by their leaders to their supposed cause.

    February 10, 2014 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. GOP are Slime

    The only reason this is here is because the GOP decides to destroy her because they know she can WIN! A party of NEGATIVES, NO and destruction in selfdestruct mode. I wish to GOD, the real one not the GOP one, that they self implode ASAP. Conservatives are way worse than anything the Taliban and Al-Qaeda can throw at the USA.

    February 10, 2014 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  4. asmita

    Why are we bringing this beaten new record. Doesnt CNN have better more impaortant things to report.
    Very dissapointing CNN!

    February 10, 2014 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  5. Nathan

    Monica has got a set of hot lips!!!!! Better then that cold fish Hillary....

    February 10, 2014 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. George

    What is she supposed to call a "woman" who nearly broke up her family? I am no Clinton fan but in this case I can think of many worse things to call that trashy thing Monica Lewinsky.

    February 10, 2014 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. Mark

    Porky Pig? Daffy Duck? Ok, which one Hillary? Don't leave us hanging!

    February 10, 2014 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  8. mamady

    All leave here alone please

    February 10, 2014 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  9. WhatAShame

    Just goes to show how pathetic the GOP is.

    February 10, 2014 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. Jenny

    Hillary has the morals of a snake.

    February 10, 2014 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. GFL

    And all of this happened because of Obamacare and the tax audit of Ben Ghazi !! Connect the dots.

    February 10, 2014 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  12. Bill

    I would have to agree with Hillery if she did call her a looney toon, anyone could tell that from her past interviews, evn if they were more than 2 decades ago. I would have to say she was a harlet as well and that's being polite. She is obviously a gold digger and actress as well. Bill Clinton was obviously very stupid and a wife cheeter as well. So what, it all happenned over 20 years ago, 20 years ago. If anything, Hillery Clinton is a Saint for keeping her family together. So why is the media doing this to help her get re-elected or to be brushed off as dumb.

    February 10, 2014 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  13. OdinVonTogan

    Is this 2nd, or 3rd grade. Holy carp. Truly sad this is 'news'.

    February 10, 2014 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  14. Bill inVA

    So…I have no use for either Clinton but especially Bill. I don't really need to hear any more about this. Irrelevant to Hilary"s candidacy.

    February 10, 2014 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  15. Dan

    This belongs in the National Enquirer.

    February 10, 2014 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  16. Roxy

    so what about the other women? what is that excuse? this just shows there is great weakness in the dem party and they need to start politicking now for hillary so they win

    February 10, 2014 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  17. I R Amazed

    "With all due respect senator, at this point, what difference does this make".
    Big deal, 13 years ago the wife of a man who was guilty of nothing more than getting a hummer from a chubby girl didn't have something nice to say about the girl in private when speaking to a friend? If my wife had discovered I was playing around with another woman, I'd be lucky if all she did was call the other woman a "looney toon".

    February 10, 2014 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  18. LouAz

    Who cares ?

    February 10, 2014 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. visitor

    I want to know what barbara bush thinks about jennifer fitzgerald. (R)

    i want to know what henry hyde's wife thought about her husband's "youthful indiscretion" when he was forty fricken two, and before he was pursuing bill clinton, as if we in illinois didn't have any problems we wanted addressed. (R)

    i want to know what the old drunk phil crane's (R) son is going to do in prison after being convicted of selling drugs to high school kids?

    February 10, 2014 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  20. Enough

    Ironic how the liberals attack conservatives over an article about a liberal and the behavior of a liberal posted by a liberal paper!

    February 10, 2014 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  21. Drew

    How is this news? Let alone FRONT PAGE on cnn.com news? Are you so afraid that a woman could be President that you have to resort to this? Sad

    February 10, 2014 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  22. Nell

    Delete this tabloid report now. This was personal information. Ms Clinton handled the situation as well as anyone would. Leave it be. It

    February 10, 2014 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  23. FubarObama

    if this woman cant manage her marriage do you really think she can manage the country?

    February 10, 2014 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  24. shyeah

    She felt responsible for Bill's cheating...bahahah. I see the narrative going more like "Bill you idiot, I told you not to get caught", instead of poor poor Hillary licking her wounds and blaming herself. I'll stick this in the 'what a crock" file.

    February 10, 2014 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  25. Trilobiteme

    That's all folks

    February 10, 2014 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
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