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. unretired05

    Monica must have been Jessica Rabbit.

    February 10, 2014 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  2. Ken

    How about blaming Bill – he made the decision to involve himself. …… and she might be President some day!

    February 10, 2014 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I guess her reaction is no longer "private".
    Why is there a picture of Rand Paul with this story, yet I see no mention of him in the article?

    February 10, 2014 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  4. kim

    seriously? this is news? the RWNJ will try to pull anything

    February 10, 2014 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  5. PoliticoMan88

    Of course she did. But she has called others far worse with that foul mouth of hers. That movie Primary Colors came pretty close of getting her right. Don't ask me for details because I don't want to be on the business end of what those two people do to people they don't like.

    February 10, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  6. Bill

    I can't wait to hear about this over and over and over,
    as the desperate GOP uses this as a failed tactic against HC.

    February 10, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  7. TheSadTruth

    The Free Beacon got played. If they thought publishing this supposed account of Hillary's reactions to being cuckolded by Bill is going to hurt her chances of getting elected, they are fools. This conveniently released account, by a deceased person who can't be questioned to its authenticity, basically shows Hillary taking the high road: NOT getting angry, NOT being bitter, NOT being brought down by her husband's childish actions- pretty much making the best of a ridiculously embarrassing situation.

    This document was fed to the Beacon by an HRC supporter, and they fell for it.

    February 10, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  8. Rob

    About Mr. Paul's faux outrage at the wife (Mrs Clinton) of a man who cheated on her...if a man in similar circumstances called his wife's tryst-mate the same words, nobody would think twice about it. And to be honest, I can never stay focused on what Rand Pall says as I keep thinking his cheap curly hair piece is going to slide off mid-sentence.

    February 10, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  9. Thom

    All he's doing is helping Hillary here.........

    February 10, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  10. gladitorgrl

    The GOP just doesn't get it NO ONE CARES!! If they think reminded we the people they wasted $40 million over a B J nobody cares about is a good campaign strategy – Go on .......

    February 10, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  11. Rachel

    Thats right Hillary, blame the victim !!

    February 10, 2014 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  12. CC333

    Hillary is living in denial and that makes her not the best candidate representing women.

    February 10, 2014 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  13. quinLee

    GOP, how's that reaching out to women working. This will surely NOT help with that.

    February 10, 2014 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  14. simplyput

    I'm more interested in the body count, especially Suzanne Coleman's. Love a good mystery, don't you? The problem is the 48 other bodies. This is your "right wing conspiracy" america, not Monica. I believe the label is "moral turpitude." Hillary Clinton spend her internship after college at a Communist law firm. Again, if she wanted the office, she should've divorced him.

    February 10, 2014 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  15. JC

    Funny how we dont hear this as news until someone is making a decision to run for office. This crap happened so long ago why would this be a factor in a race for president in 2016? I am so tired of old news

    February 10, 2014 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    JR Ewing
    This story reeks of partisan politics.
    Ignore it.

    I suspect the only ones accepting this as political fodder are Rand Paul groupies. And, yeah. It reeks of desperation.

    February 10, 2014 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. Tampa Tim

    How did Larry Craig explain his wide stance in the airport bathroom? That was right out of the republican handbook.

    February 10, 2014 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  18. Chuckbrown0916

    It's been over 15 years, please come up with something more present.

    February 10, 2014 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  19. Rudy NYC


    "Stand by your man...."
    I think any good husband who was put into the same position would lie about it, in an effort to try and save his wife from the public embarassment and humilitation of having her husband admit to an affair to the Congress about something that was really none of their business, anyway.

    February 10, 2014 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  20. Person

    And so, as expected, the effort to block Hillary's run is off to its predictable low-minded start.

    February 10, 2014 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  21. smith

    We got bridgegate, benghazigate, and now monicagate. I wonder how many more gates we`ll have leading up to 2016.

    February 10, 2014 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  22. daviddavid

    Depend on what the word "IS" means
    hahahahahahaha cant make this stuff up.

    February 10, 2014 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  23. Greg

    One of he biggest façades in DC has been and will be that Bill and Hillary are a real couple that share more than an address and a last name. He is tapping every chick that will keep their mouth shut (well, as it relates to talking to the media) and Hillary just wants Bill to pretend they are a "normal" couple as it helps her politically to be married. I would give 10 to 1 odds that these two have not been intimate in over 20 years.

    February 10, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  24. Padraig

    Hillary will make a brilliant president. The GOP's "ideas", wholly concocted by the most unAmerican and undemocratic far-right groups with ties to the John Birch society (like the Koch-brothers-funded "Americans for Prosperity" and the astroturf "tea party") are bad for Americans. Republicans are completely beholden to moneyed special interests. Hillary Clinton is dedicated to doing what is right for America. She has been tested, personally and professionally, and been found to be a strong, courageous and capable leader, and a steadfast human being. I look forward to supporting her in her campaign and her presidency.

    February 10, 2014 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  25. 865155

    It is in extremely poor taste that CNN has to dredge the worst time in a persons life to make news !!!!! Everytime you mention ML she and her Mom are made out to be the hero. A mother who promotes her daughter in this manner is more of a pimp. REALLY !! He paid a great price, the family survived... Let it go.

    February 10, 2014 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
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