IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Clinton releases first lady papers

/ Source: The Associated Press

Hillary Rodham Clinton kept her schedule packed when allegations exploded that her husband had an affair with a White House intern, according to papers released Wednesday that show her daily activities as first lady.

The private crisis came at the most public of times for the wife who initially believed her husband's protestations of innocence, before his story crumbled.

She had speeches scheduled, at home and abroad. She appeared by Bill Clinton's side at an education event where he angrily dismissed the reports of his womanizing. And if that were not enough, there was his State of the Union address.

Her schedule has her choosing flowers for a black-tie dinner, congratulating "Guns Aren't Cool" award winners and reading to kids in the week in January 1998 that upended her life and threatened his presidency. She denounced a "vast right-wing conspiracy" in a TV interview.

The National Archives in Washington and former President Clinton's presidential library in Arkansas jointly released her first lady schedules after months of pressure from critics who say the Clintons were delaying the disclosure.

In all, 11,046 pages have been made available. Nearly 4,800 pages have parts blacked out. Archivists said that's to protect the privacy of third parties. Schedules for more than 30 days of activities were not included in this release.

Sen. Clinton said in her memoirs that she had little choice but to carry on with her appearances when the Monica Lewinsky revelations came out. It was on Jan. 21, 1998, when her husband woke her up, sat on the edge of the bed and said, "There's something in today's papers you should know about." He told her of the reports of his relationship with the former intern, and she believed his denials at first.

"I knew that both Bill and I had to carry on with our daily routines," she said in her book.

Her Democratic presidential campaign released a statement Wednesday saying the schedules spanning her two terms as first lady "illustrate the array of substantive issues she worked on" and her travel to more than 80 countries "in pursuit of the administration's domestic and foreign policy goals."

Clinton says her years as first lady would help equip her to handle foreign policy and national security as president.

But the schedules show trips packed with plainly traditional activities for a first lady as well as some substance.

For example, in her January 1994 visit to Russia with her husband, her schedule is focused on events with political wives. She sat in on a birthing class at a hospital, toured a cathedral and joined prominent women in a lunch of blinis with caviar and salmon.

The Clinton campaign said the schedules are merely a guide and don't reflect all of her activities.