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. Humbrrto

    Executive Privilege applies to Congress but not the Judiciary. If the Judiciary is not competent to handle matters of national security get rid of them.

    February 10, 2014 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. BeverlyNC

    I would have called Monica far worse things if she had continued to have an affair with my husband. President Clinton was at fault too, but Monica basically stalked him in the beginning, showing up at campaign events wherever he was.
    Come on Rand Paul – is this the type of negative nothingness you will desperately try to use against Hillary as she runs and wins the 2016 election?
    Hillary has every element you want in a strong leader who represents ALL Americans. She has been in involved in local to state to national to White House leadership supporting roles. She has been a Senator and one of our best Secretary of State diplomats in our history. She has fought for healthcare since the early 1990s, has been a big supporter of women's rights, believes in immigration reform, caring for the poor, a huge believer in the value of education in breaking the cycle of poverty, supports new energy and the protection of our environment from ex.chemical and oil spills from irresponsible corporations focused purely on short-term greed who could care less they are destroying our water tables forever. I can't think of a better or more perfect choice in this time of Republican wars on the rights of the People – workers, women, the poor and even our most basic right to vote. She will help us overturn the Republican-driven "Citizens United" which has corrupted the democracy of our fair election process.
    We need to rid of our states and our Congress of ALL Republicans so work for the People can begin again instead of endless obstruction like 470 filibusters in the Senate to stop all legislation for jobs, education, infrastructure, and even veterans aid. We must end corporate control of our government and the Republicans they bought. Our Constitution begins "We the People" not We the Corporations.
    Regardless of how many false and negative ads Republicans run they cannot buy our vote and we can stand up and take back our legislative branch from Republicans who have betrayed us and ignored our voices.

    February 10, 2014 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  3. much thunder...little rain

    everyone knows bill a perve so what

    February 10, 2014 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  4. Cam

    What's new? Hillary is one of many narcissists who live part time on Capitol hill.

    February 10, 2014 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  5. seanster77

    Looney toon is what she called Monica? Well I think I did hear Monica state she was a democrat, so I guess for once Hillary is actually telling the truth.

    February 10, 2014 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  6. Joe from Boston

    The irony is too much. I think most people think of Rand Paul as a "narcissistic loony toon". Really, Rand? Lewinsky? That's all you got?

    I still find it amazing that the House impeached Clinton for lying to Congress about an affair, but "W" and Cheney skated after lying to Congress and the American people about WMD in Iraq. One event killed a girls' reputation, the other 5,000 Americans. But, hey, Halliburton made a few billion.

    I agree with Hillary on one thing – Bill's affair with Lewinsky was a lapse. But he kept doing it because nobody around him would ever tell him no. Regardless, he'd win the presidency again if he could run.

    February 10, 2014 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  7. BB

    Any scorned wife would probably find it difficult to hold their tongue regarding her husbands lover. A"narcissistic loony tune" was probably a fair assessment. I don't think anyone could fault her for privately venting; particularly after she was gracious enough to forgive him. I wish people would give her more credit for extending grace and forgivness to her husband. Too many people run away when things get hard.

    February 10, 2014 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  8. Greg

    WOW...just WOW are republicans that stupid and reaching for something to try and hinder democrats...it happen its in the past move the hell on...oh wait republicans can't because they hold grudges and can't look to the future they only look at the now or past.

    February 10, 2014 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  9. JR Ewing

    This story reeks of partisan politics.
    Ignore it.

    February 10, 2014 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  10. wakeup

    i was told he didn't HAVE sex with that woman

    February 10, 2014 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  11. sam

    What difference does it make!!! did bill attack poor monica or did they just end up in the closet?

    February 10, 2014 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  12. Skeptic

    Is this really news? What the First Lady called an intern fooling around with her husband? I admit it, I clicked on it.

    February 10, 2014 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  13. mikey

    Hillary does not have the temperment to be president, she is too polarizing, and not a likable person..too ruthless and eat up with frustrating ambition. Her devious character came to light in the 1970's when she was fired from the watergate committee for unethical behaviour.

    February 10, 2014 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  14. TravelSheryl

    This is old news. What relevance does it have to anything today?

    February 10, 2014 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  15. keeth

    And the GOP goes after Hilary via Monica and Bill. The GOP sure are desperate, and strangely still obsessed with someone else's sex life. One might call that perverted.

    February 10, 2014 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  16. Ben

    Bill Clinton was the original war on women...

    February 10, 2014 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  17. Will D

    Only the Tea Party or the Far Right fools would even think of bringing up her husbands affair.from more than a decade ago, as something that would somehow maker her unfit. They are going to watch a landslide victory if they don't back to reality. This smear stuff hasn't worked for them yet, it has however lead to the GOP's poll approval ratings rivaling hemorrhoids and cockroaches. If you are destroying yourself in the process of destroying your enemy, you always lose the battle.

    February 10, 2014 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  18. george cook

    Maybe Hillary called her a loon toon or something like that...but FAST BILLY called her something else...SWEET

    February 10, 2014 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  19. roro

    All right already! Bill was a jerk. Everyone knows it, but to use it to smear Hillary is just despicable, Mr. Paul. She was a victim, not a perpetrator. Paul will do anything and everything he thinks will bolster his position. He's dreaming.

    February 10, 2014 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  20. ArmyCSM

    Rand Paul is a loony toon himself. I was tired of hearing about this then and I'm tired of hearing about it now. Monica knew exactly what she was doing and other than Bill's answer should have been "it's none of your business" it's a private matter and needs to be left alone. Trying to get to Hillary through her husbands cheating is stupid.

    February 10, 2014 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  21. cdnjim

    Grow up, Republicans.

    February 10, 2014 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  22. Jim in PA

    1. The fact that Monica saved the famous blue dress proves she's nuts.
    2. A married woman is entitled to use any insult they desire against another woman who hooks up with her husband.

    February 10, 2014 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  23. YoonYoungJo

    Again a reason why Hillary would make a great president. It took a lot of strength and graciousness to forgive. Something many don't have and something that would be a great attribute in a president. People aren't perfect. And I think this is what Jesus was always trying to teach. God does not care or want the seemingly perfect man. He wants those who error and correct their errors. Remorse, compassion and understanding are things that are more virtuous then false piety.

    February 10, 2014 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  24. Sandy

    YAWN! This is nobody's BUSINESS!

    February 10, 2014 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  25. hefailed

    "Stand by your man...."

    February 10, 2014 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
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