updated 02/11/2014 AT 5:15 PM ET
•originally published 02/11/2014 AT 2:45 PM ET
As recalled in her memoir, it was one of Hillary Clinton’s lowest moments: the day her husband, the president, told her he had been having an affair with a White House intern.
“Gulping for air, I started crying and yelling at him,” the first-lady-turned-secretary-of-state wrote in 2004’s Living History. “ ‘What do you mean? What are you saying? Why did you lie to me?’”
The journals, donated to the University of Arkansas after Clinton confidante Diane Blair’s death in 2000, have been available to the public since 2010. The revelations contained within flew under the radar until the Washington Free Beacon published an investigation into the papers’ contents Sunday.
According to the documents, which were donated by Blair’s husband, the first lady laid much of the blame for the affair at Lewinsky’s feet, calling the former intern a “narcissistic loony toon” who happened to approach the president during a moment of personal weakness.
In a 1998 phone call, recorded in Blair’s diary, Clinton said that the president had been brought low by the recent deaths of Bill’s mother, Hillary’s father and the couple’s close friend Vince Foster, as well as by political attacks from Republicans.
After speaking with a psychologist, Hillary also suggested that the roots of Bill’s infidelity lay in his childhood, particularly the struggle between his mother and grandmother over who would raise him.
Still, Blair noted, “It was a huge personal lapse. And [Hillary] is not taking responsibility for it.”
Elsewhere in the Blair documents, Clinton struck back at the notion that her husband was guilty of sexually harassing Lewinsky. Sen. Rand Paul, who like Hillary is widely assumed to be running for president in 2016, has repeatedly criticized the former president for “using his position of authority to take advantage of young women in the workplace.”
As Blair wrote of Hillary’s feelings on the affair, “It was gross inappropriate behavior, but it was consensual (was not a power relationship) and was not sex within any real meaning (standup, liedown, oral, etc.) of the term.”
Hillary Clinton has not commented on the information contained in the papers.
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