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. emskadittle

    I think this guy is more of a liability to the republicans than monica is to Hillary

    February 10, 2014 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  2. ric

    old news .......boring!!!!!

    February 10, 2014 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  3. jerrylax

    The documents are public and now it's time for 'the spin'. Fact is this is just one incident of a career of smut and dishonesty…and ruthless political/power activity. Can't wait until these clintons retire with their millions and let the country heal. We desirably need to drain the swamp and move on.

    February 10, 2014 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  4. Aana Smither

    Why there is not simple description – sexual harassment at work. How low are morals and ethics standards of Mr. Clinton ? Calling a young women names is very low of Mrs.Clinton. Well that is expected of Mrs Clinton – the same low standards as her husband's..

    February 10, 2014 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  5. ShawnDH

    Who cares? This was decades ago.

    February 10, 2014 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  6. Jackson


    typical democrat – it's always someone else's fault – blame someone else.


    As opposed to those "typical Republicans" who get on their soapbox about family values and morality then go see their mistress.

    February 10, 2014 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  7. lavozderazon

    This is the same Diane Blair whose husband, as chief counsel for Tyson Foods, helped Hillary make a $100,000 profit in commodity futures trades in the 1990s. Nothing cements a friendship like making a politician wealthy and, in return, an appointment for the late Professor Blair to the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting by President Clinton. Just a preview of what follows if Hillary gets her apparent way.

    February 10, 2014 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  8. Jackson


    Much more important question. Why did Clinton tell Lewinsky that his phone was bugged and was it the NSA
    bugging the Oval office phone?? Even more important question. Why did the Presidcent accept that bugging
    as a fait de compli.???? Lets see the MSM tackle those questions...


    You think the Secret Service would allow any President in the modern era to have a cell phone that wasn't monitored?

    February 10, 2014 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  9. TxGran

    In Lewinsky's own book, it is obvious she served herself up to Bill Clinton on a silver platter. She says in her book she asked him "When are we going to "consummate our relationship, and his response was, "we're not." I think the label Hillary Clinton put on her is entirely appropriate, actually too good for Lewinsky. I have to admire the Clintons for saving their marriage, and I will bet Chelsea is relieved. Rand Paul is bringing up the story for purely political purposes....his own. What a jerk! His daddy should tell him to drop it now.

    February 10, 2014 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  10. Jackson


    Thought he was a serial cheater throughout thekr marriage. What are those excuses?


    Just like Newt Gringrich has been a serial cheater. The only difference is Bill never raged against other people's lack of morals, while Gingrich did.

    February 10, 2014 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  11. obotma

    hilary the horror!

    February 10, 2014 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  12. liberal disease

    she can destroy anything in her way, if they let her at Obama she would be President now..This is ruthless politician

    February 10, 2014 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  13. critical thinking

    Monica is old news, I'm awaiting the new cast of women who will show up once Hillary decides to run. Who amongst us thin that Bill has been a boy scout all these many years.

    February 10, 2014 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  14. RT Colorado

    Hillary Clinton's account contains some truth, Monica probably was (is) a narcissistic loony tune. Having conceded that point, the rest of it doesn't pass the "smell test". Anyone of believes for a minute that President Clinton did not have the ability to have a twenty year old intern transferred to another department lacks an understanding of the power of the Executive. Monica was allowed to stay and would have stayed as long as she wanted until the affair was exposed. There is no getting away from "I did not have relations with that women". President Clinton for all of his good works now, will never be able to get clear of that lie, nor his infamous definition of "is". I would applaud Hillary Clinton for her "largess" if I could find a way to convince myself that she wasn't just being a "smart player" and using the " making Lemonade from Lemons" expedient. I am unclear why Hillary Clinton when asked about President Clinton's affair with a twenty year old intern, just doesn't raise her hands in the air a state "What difference does it matter now". That seems to work pretty well for her.

    February 10, 2014 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  15. northerstar

    Of course it wasn't Bill's fault ! And of course HE told Hillary that HE wanted to end the affair but "SHE" (the 20 year old unpaid intern) wouldn't let me ! The whole story would be funny if it wasn't SO typical and SO SAD. He was supposedly the "most powerful man in the world" but couldn't get away from an unpaid intern ?
    So Hillary settled: Stay with Bill for the good of his Presidency & the good of the Dem Party. Of course, all she wanted was in return was the Dem Senate seat from New York (Dems control this seat).

    February 10, 2014 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  16. g

    he lied but he did not attack IRAQ and get thousands killed with his lie

    February 10, 2014 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  17. rrdude

    No one really cares anymore because the Clinton-Lewisnky affair is ancient news. I'd think the Senator would have more important business to attend too like... immigration, equality for all people, eliminating hunger at home or implementing tax reform that makes it equal for all Americans... just to name a few, but no way. He has to focus on the past because he has no idea how to move this country forward. He is right, Texas and all of the other red wing-nut states will abandon the Republican Party and do what is right for America. Vote for the BEST man or woman to do the right thing rather that the Party line.

    February 10, 2014 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  18. john

    I think reporting on Bill's time in the White House is very appropriate as this entire recession is his fault having been warned in 1993 about the impending crash of the housing market due to derivatives trading that was exposed by the failure of LTCM. Needless to say, not only did he do NOTHING about it, he and his financial advisors destroyed the career of the woman who warned him. And people say the Republicans are waging war on women.

    February 10, 2014 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  19. Frank S

    You're going after the wrong Clinton, Rand. Who cares that Bill dabbled in political groupies? If that is all you have, we will be seeing another President Clinton for sure. Folks hate moral hypocrisy by holier-than-thou politicos. They know exactly what is meant by the term "war on women," it is an obvious fact. Keep digging, Rand, but you're getting nowhere.

    February 10, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  20. dave

    When two people do something voluntarily, they are both 100% responsible for their own actions. Monica could be a "looney-toon" at the same time Bill was a dirt bag. BTW, way to break 20 year old news CNN

    February 10, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  21. Abbey

    Just Monica? With thinking like this the country could do better Madam Sec. so please go retire and write your memoirs.

    February 10, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Great post BeverlyNC.

    February 10, 2014 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  23. Deft "The Fox in a Pink T-Shirt" Trolling

    Go on CNN, sell up those terrible presidential candidates like the good government lapdog you are. I'll just get to sit there and say "I told you so" when amendments 1 through 6 are curtailed even further.

    "LOL Deft u r jist a GOP shall"

    first of all you misspelled shill and just [who even does that?], yeah, that's why there are only going to be two candidates running for president in 2016 and your vote couldn't possibly count if you choose to not vote for either of the big two.

    February 10, 2014 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  24. Ghung

    The smell of desparation and fear is getting strong in the GOP; especially pungent around the neocons. They seem to have lost their boy Christie and there's no way they can spin away the baffoonery of the likes of Paul, Cruz and Rubio. Since the Bengazi mess isn't sticking to Hillary, they'll go after her via the potential first 'First Husband' (First Gentleman? jeez). Both parties and their professional spin-liars are losing even their most trusting bases, likely leaving the next presidential election up to the most delusional,, but I guess it's been that way for a while; this circus we call 'government'.

    February 10, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  25. Abbey

    Democrats love their women. LMAO!

    February 10, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
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