Longtime Hillary Clinton aide considered leaving after Lewinsky scandal

Story highlights

  • Patti Solis Doyle served as a senior adviser to Clinton when she was first lady
  • She spoke to David Axelrod's podcast in an interview published Sunday

(CNN)Hillary Clinton's longtime aide and 2008 campaign manager said in an interview published Sunday night that she considered quitting her White House post in 1998 during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Patti Solis Doyle, who served as a senior adviser to Clinton when she was first lady, said that she considered resigning, but ultimately resolved to stay: "Why would I punish her by quitting?"
"It was awful. It was a horrible thing to do. It was a s----y thing to do to her. But he did it. She didn't do it," Solis Doyle said in an interview with David Axelrod, a former top strategist to President Barack Obama who now hosts "The Axe Files" podcast.
    Patti Solis Doyle
    "I thought, she didn't do anything. He is the jerk here. And why would I punish her by quitting? Why would I leave her? But what he did was absolutely unacceptable for many of the young women who were working on that staff," Solis Doyle added.
    Solis Doyle and Axelrod are both CNN political contributors.
    The interview comes as the infidelity scandal and other sexual misconduct allegations against former President Bill Clinton have reemerged into the public eye, with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump recently seizing on the allegations -- and Hillary Clinton's alleged role in stomping them out -- as a line of attack in the 2016 presidential race.
    Trump has said his attacks came in response after Clinton's campaign accused the billionaire businessman of sexism.
    And Solis Doyle called the blame some would shovel on Clinton for her husband's infidelities "its own form of sexism to somehow blame the spouse for what the husband did."
    The longtime Clinton aide, who coined the term "Hillaryland" to describe the close circle of advisers around Clinton, also attested to the Clintons' loving relationship.
    "They love each other. You see it. When I worked with them closely in the White House and in Arkansas and after the White House, there is a mutual respect and admiration for certain, but there's also a lot of love," Solis Doyle said in the podcast interview. "I mean, she -- you know, they hold hands. He just sort of puts his hands on her shoulders and she lights up. And vice versa. They take long walks together. They have long conversations together. It's a very good relationship. How they manage whatever happened or didn't happen is their business and I never ever asked."