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. Paul Cooper

    I do just love the liberal hysteria over Hillary. They say it's unfair to ask about her obvious lies and those of her husband, but they cared so very deeply about where Bush Jr. was on a given day in 1971. The fact that Rand Paul is a maroon doesn't change the fact that Hillary Clinton is a slime ball.

    February 10, 2014 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  2. Ron

    No self-respecting woman would have stood by her man as Hillary did during the Lewinsky embarrassment. She set a terrible example for women everywhere by not divorcing Bill. But she is a ruthless, power-hungry woman, and Democrats, think long and hard before you nominate her for president.

    February 10, 2014 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  3. Liz the First

    Bill was a horndog. Old news! Hillary chose to forgive the man she loves. Um, isn't that what JESUS TAUGHT US TO DO? the more the repugs harp on this ancient history, the more they demonstrate they have nothing else to talk about. nothing to offer the American people. no new, effective, constructive ideas, just the same old hate. We're better than this! Hillary will make a great president, and Bill will make a great First Man. 🙂

    February 10, 2014 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  4. Dawn

    Is this all the republicans have? Really lame and the woman who combed through a dead woman's materials to come up with some scraps made the news. I hope that the republicans (and CNN) can come up with something more news worthy then this. Maybe report on important stuff like global warming, world peace, or the increase of children in homeless shelters.

    February 10, 2014 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  5. Jerry g

    I feel sorry for real republicans who care about their issues. Seems y'all can't find a viable candidate. If Rand Paul , Mitt and Christie are your only hope, you are in for a long road to get to the promised land again. Digging up this old mess is desperate and immoral when their are so many issues confronting our country.

    February 10, 2014 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  6. Pot calling the kettle black

    Hillary can't call someone else looney when Bill has stepped out on her repeatedly. Oh Monica wouldn't leave him alone. We all know Bill and Hillary have an understanding. Is this who everyone truly wants running the White House? Someone who pretends to have a marriage and doesn't take accountability for 4 people who died under her watch. Nope!

    February 10, 2014 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  7. Tired of the Anger

    So Republicans spent $60M of taxpayer money investigating the Clintons and their involvement in Whitewater, and all they come up with is that Bubba had illicit contact with an intern in the Oval Office. And Rand Paul thinks Democrats should be ashamed, and that this is a liability to Democrats? Keep these tactics up and it'll be at least another 8 years in the Oval for the Dems.

    February 10, 2014 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  8. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    The more seen and heard from the republican on this matter, is going to backfire, and backfire like nobody's business. The more it's focused on the more I'm intent on voting a straight democrat ticket. You'd be smart to start keeping your whining mouths shut for once.

    February 10, 2014 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  9. Agapatos

    "Forgave?" Hillary has an open marriage with Bill. Wedding vows mean as little to them as political promises.

    February 10, 2014 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  10. oldsarg

    Hillary tolerated Bills abuse of young women. You can't rewrite the truth to defend her. She knew what was going on and had destroyed others who brought this truth out.

    February 10, 2014 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  11. Roger Huguez

    Is this really happening? This is old news people, we went through all this already. Get a life and get with it or, you're in the wrong damn business!

    February 10, 2014 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  12. Brenda

    She forgave him because she is sad, pathetic and stupid. She sets no example for young women and their self-esteem; of which she has NONE.

    February 10, 2014 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  13. deee510

    Rand Paul has no credibility. So he's attacking Hillary's spouses past transgressions. Lol gop doesn't have a grown-up intelligent candidate.

    February 10, 2014 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  14. philco

    Kind of odd that Hillary was really "dumbfounded, heartbroken and outraged over the affair? I thought by that time she would have been used to it

    February 10, 2014 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  15. Howard Roark

    Seriously people, Bill had long track record of indiscretions...really long. This was not some isolated incident. He was all over the place...deal with it.

    February 10, 2014 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  16. dejavu65

    Time OUT!!!!!!......Didn't we discuss and dissect this like 20 years AGO!!!.....I mean people are REALLY trying to talk about this like this just happened yesterday!!.....SMH....Seriously!

    February 10, 2014 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  17. Walloe

    It's old news, water under the bridge, so what. Now, Rand Paul wants to drudge this all up again because he may have to run against HRC. Why can't the Dem's and Rep's focus on what we need to make this country great again? Those in office, and most who are running are tearing this country down and allowing it to be bought out.

    February 10, 2014 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  18. Scott

    I wish she would have cared about the Americans in Benghazi as much as her relationship. That, along with her narcissistic bio tweets, pretty much sums her up.

    February 10, 2014 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  19. BuddyLeroy

    Political attention needed and where is there a better hot topic? Hillbillary wants her name to be on the news and the lips of any and all for the next several years it is a political game and the entire family will no doubt chime in wherever they can. We need to out law more than one member of a family ever becoming president to stop continued family domination of this nations business and its politics. it is a dictatorship of a different color.

    February 10, 2014 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  20. headmouse

    Another reason this woman does not need to be president. She will bring crap up from 1890.

    Let it go Hillary. Your husband found some other woman to do the job you wouldn't do.

    February 10, 2014 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  21. AAA Anonymous

    Old news. Gossip. Want to bring Hillary down to their level.

    February 11, 2014 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  22. Uthor

    Uh... great job covering news that happened a decade and a half ago...

    February 11, 2014 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  23. cjb

    As always – a victim and an enabler. Who can blame Bill. HRC is in total denial.

    February 11, 2014 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  24. What church?

    what church? is he islamic or something? what churches believe in sleeping with people when you're married and have kids at home?

    February 11, 2014 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  25. Indyswimmer66

    Well... she wasn't wrong.

    February 11, 2014 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
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