About the Show

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

The latest on national protests. Plus, what went wrong in Yemen rescue attempt?

The latest on national protests. Plus, what went wrong in Yemen rescue attempt?

national lead

May 23rd, 2013
06:59 PM ET

Rumsfeld: I give the Bush administration a D-, Obama gets an F

President Barack Obama's speech on Thursday made clear that his administration's policies are not the same as his predecessor's, former President George W. Bush.

"I believe we compromised our basic values by using torture to interrogate our enemies and detaining individuals in a way that ran counter to the rule of law," said Obama at National Defense University, referring to the Bush administration's national security policy.

But Donald Rumsfeld, who served as defense secretary under Bush from 2001-2006, said Obama has “blamed the Bush administration for practically everything since he took office."

Rumsfeld said that people “kind of conflated” the Defense Department with the CIA during the Bush years.

“The Department of Defense at Guantanamo water boarded no one,” he said of the detention facility in Cuba and harsh treatment of certain terror suspects.
FULL POST

politics lead

May 23rd, 2013
06:45 PM ET

Analysis: Weiner's apology tour? He's got nothing to lose

There used to be a time when former U.S. congressman Anthony Weiner did not want to give interviews, especially when a picture of his underwear was thrown in his face.

But now he is back, running for mayor of New York, and ready to open up to reporters. He gave an interview to radio station WNYC, and he is acutely aware that his scandal is not going away soon.

"I made very big mistakes. I compounded it immeasurably by being dishonest about it," he told WNYC. "I have apologized many, many times to my wife, and frankly I know that part of this process is going to be doing a lot of apologizing."
FULL POST

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national lead

May 23rd, 2013
06:36 PM ET

Families remember Oklahoma tornado victims

(CNN) - Kyle Davis was 100% boy. He loved going with his grandpa to see Monster Trucks, and would hoot and clap whenever one of those giant things would roll over and crush a smaller car. Because he was a good kid and got A's and B's, his family would sometimes reward him with a trip to the lake and let him ride his four-wheeler around.

The 8-year-old was a force on the soccer field. His stocky build earned him a nickname: "The Wall."

"Kids just bounced off of him," Davis' grandfather Marvin Dixon said Wednesday. "He just loved being with his Pawpaw and I loved being with him. I'm just going to miss him."

Kyle was among 24 people who lost their lives Monday when a massive tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma, just outside Oklahoma City.

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world lead

May 23rd, 2013
06:33 PM ET

Reporter: Obama has declared the world a battlefield

President Barack Obama laid out the legal argument on why drone strikes that killed four Americans were not only legal, but his presidential duty. He used the example of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen and al Qaeda propagandist killed by a drone strike in Yemen almost two years ago.

"I would have detained and prosecuted Awlaki if we captured him before he carried out a plot. But we couldn't. And as President, I would have been derelict in my duty had I not authorized the strike that took out Awlaki," Obama said Thursday.

"The president said that he would have detained and prosecuted Anwar [al]-Awlaki, if that's the case, why did he never seek an indictment against Awlaki?" asked Jeremy Scahill, author of "Dirty Wars," a book on the United States' covert wars. Scahill is also the national security correspondent for "The Nation."
FULL POST

national lead

May 23rd, 2013
04:48 PM ET

Obama defends secret drone strikes

President Barack Obama defended his administration's counter terrorism policies Thursday, specifically, his covert drone war. The president admitted publicly, for the first time and in his own words, that he approved the 2011 drone killing of American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, the suspected face of al Qaeda in Yemen.

"I do not believe it would be constitutional for the government to target and kill any U.S. citizen – with a drone, or a shotgun – without due process," Obama said Thursday. "But when a U.S. citizen goes abroad to wage war against America ... his citizenship should no more serve as a shield, than a sniper shooting down on an innocent crowd should be protected from a SWAT team."
FULL POST

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