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. Justin

    Really, CNN? This is news? This is what Americans need to know about, a woman insulting a person that had an affair with their husband? As a 24 year old member of US society, you should not be wondering why your following has been decreasing..

    February 10, 2014 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  2. I'm sorry, but get real.

    I'm sorry, but get real.

    February 10, 2014 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    Well, at least CNN had the decency to attach Rand Paul's picture to this piece of garbage reporting considering he is the ONLY person hell bent on discussing Lewinsky as new 24/7 "news" fodder.

    Kudos to CNN for taking the bait. I'd like to say I'm surprised, but ...............................

    February 10, 2014 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  4. Namelinda

    It does not matter to me about the Bill Clinton affair. That is old news Rand Paul. The most recent news Rand Paul is that you and your father are old time racists. Any minority who vote for you or any Republican is a fool. The majority of minorities know exactly what you and your father really are and what you represent. We will not forget.

    February 10, 2014 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  5. Harry101

    He did it she forgive him let it go. It's time to move on.

    February 10, 2014 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  6. Peach

    So what about the COUNTLESS other affairs Slick Willy had–?????? Too many to count.......the man is a sleezeball

    February 10, 2014 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  7. Daddy-o

    If it was a lapse in judgement, how do you explain Jennifer Flowers and all the others in Arkansas before Monica???

    February 10, 2014 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  8. Tampa Tim

    I wonder if Fox media and Newsmax will be able to cut, splice, and edit any of this to create some genuine bagger hate.

    February 10, 2014 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  9. Martha in CF

    The only "Looney Tune" here is Rand Paul. He is grabbing at air to make any kind of statement lately. Mr. Purger himself.

    February 10, 2014 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  10. garybonner

    CNN....you stated repreatedly throughout this article that you were uncertain much of this is true. I thought the first rule of authentic journalism is that if you don't know whether something is true, you don't publish it. I am not a Hillary fan, but this is a sorry piece of journalism.

    February 10, 2014 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  11. Ozzie

    A private reaction to a spouse cheating should be just that, private.

    February 10, 2014 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  12. Jim

    Hillary believes that once you have a child there is no reason to sleep with your husband. Bill was just relieving himself so what is not to forgive, someone else doing what you would never do again is looney toon.

    February 10, 2014 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  13. Gunderson

    Um, Well,
    Bill was President. Hillary couldn't very well drive a bulldozer thru that tho that is what she wanted to do. No doubt Lewinsky was a bit obsessed. End of story.

    February 10, 2014 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  14. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    "Rand Paul of Kentucky, a likely 2016 GOP White House contender, continues to call the Lewinsky scandal a liability for the Democrats."

    Even though I am adamantly against a Hillary candidacy, this is meaningless mud-tossing. There are enough genuine reasons to disqualify her as a potential POTUS–this is not one of them.

    February 10, 2014 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  15. EdL

    Poor Bill. He was the victim, could not protect himself from the 'loony' Monica. When first elected president there was activity to protect him from the 'loony?' bimbos he had fooled around with prior to his election. Poor Bill. Hillary of course excused him regarding Monica. She liked being First Lady and excusing him would benefit her future political pursuits.

    February 10, 2014 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  16. Haven

    So what if Hillary called Monica a "narcissistic loony toon"? She was right!

    February 10, 2014 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  17. Sue

    Old news. And if any husband was having an affair with a woman, I'm sure words more severe than "loony tune" would be uttered.

    February 10, 2014 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  18. quidestveritas

    the entire Clinton sleaze trail was the ultimate exposure of the left's total hypocrisy about women's rights. rather than defend the women as innocent flowers who were bullied and abused by a powerful political figure, they were denounced as floozies, kooks and gold diggers while the president was painted as a victim of circumstance and political vendettas. and to pile on top of it, Hillary had to completely disparage stay-at-home mom's with her derogatory "tammy wynette" comments about staying home and baking cookies. what a crock.

    February 10, 2014 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  19. Apoxonbothyourparties

    "In addition to Hillary Clinton's private thoughts on the Lewinsky matter, the Washington Free Beacon reported that 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."

    Well I'm so happy the main focus of the article is the supposed name calling and not the stuff that will actually affect Americans. Healthcare and foreign policy should only be honorable mentions when it comes to possible presidential candidates. What a joke the media has become.

    February 10, 2014 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  20. Doug

    Hillary nailed that one on the head.

    February 10, 2014 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  21. greg

    After what Monica did with her husband I'm suprised she did not call her worse....

    February 10, 2014 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  22. Will

    THIS is the ONLY scandal that Paul's got, REALLY?

    February 10, 2014 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  23. Truck

    People who can think for themselves know who the real loony toon is.Ask Vince Foster....

    February 10, 2014 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  24. Lee Downie

    "Loony tune" sounds just about right.

    February 10, 2014 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  25. Ben

    How could it be "out of his control"? He is the president of the United States. She is an intern with no power.

    February 10, 2014 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
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