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

Dutch frustration with Russia grows increasingly personal. Plus the latest on the Mideast conflict.

Dutch frustration with Russia grows increasingly personal. Plus the latest on the Mideast conflict.

world lead

May 29th, 2013
07:08 PM ET

Did drone rules change anything for Pakistan strike?

Just six days after President Barack Obama laid out new guidelines for U.S. drone strikes, the Pakistani Taliban's number two, Wali-Ur Rehman Mehsud, was killed by a drone strike. Rehman was wanted by the U.S. for possible involvement in a 2009 suicide bombing that killed seven CIA employees at a base in Afghanistan. The White House would not confirm his death.

The new White House guidelines for drone strikes include a legal basis for using lethal force; the target poses a continuing imminent threat to U.S. persons; near certainty the target is present; near certainty non-combatants will not be injured or killed; capture of target is not an option; target country cannot or will not address the threat themselves; and the attack respects national sovereignty and international law.

But those guidelines apply to strikes the White House describes as outside areas of continuing hostilities, said Mark Mazzetti, national security correspondent for The New York Times, and author of "The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth."

"Pakistan they consider an area of continuing hostility because it's part of ... the Afghan theater," said Mazzetti.
FULL POST

pop lead

May 29th, 2013
07:07 PM ET

What does it take to portray the President of the United States?

For every president, there is an actor. And for every film that portrays the commander in chief, there is someone who must choose a face of history.

The next visage for our viewing pleasure is Rob Lowe. It was announced Tuesday that the man who recently played Liberace's plastic surgeon on HBO, will now play John F. Kennedy on National Geographic.

JFK is the chameleon of Camelot, having been portrayed by more than 10 different actors, with an equal number of Jackie O's beside him.

Casting director Ellen Lewis has been responsible for portraying historical figures in "Hyde Park on Hudson," "The Aviator," and "Forrest Gump." She knows what it takes to make a good president.

"You don't want to look for a look-a-like, you don't want it to seem like a cartoon, but you want something the audience can hook into, to tie them to the character," said Lewis.
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politics lead

May 29th, 2013
07:02 PM ET

Briefly a GOP presidential frontrunner, Bachmann's future is now uncertain

Rep. Michele Bachmann announced late Wednesday night that she will not seek a fifth term in Congress. But her political legacy is already written.

Bachmann was a fierce critic of the Obama administration, a champion of social conservatives, and a White House hopeful who started her career as a volunteer for Democrat Jimmy Carter's 1976 campaign for president.

Bachmann was always a more complex character than the late night comedians made her out to be.
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politics lead

May 29th, 2013
06:37 PM ET

Sen. McConnell compares Obama to Nixon

Republicans love to talk about President Reagan, but President Nixon is one guy they usually leave out of the talking points. Unless of course they are comparing him to President Obama.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell released a new ad slamming the White House, and comparing it to Nixon's administration.

But with the economy on the mend, will the White House controversies leave a political dent? Democratic strategist Doug Thornell, Politico's Rachel Smolkin, and National Review's Jim Geraghty dissects McConnell's motivations and strategies on CNN "The Lead's" politics panel. Check out the video above.

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money lead

May 29th, 2013
05:56 PM ET

Study: Women primary income source in 40% of U.S. homes

Americans are becoming increasingly comfortable with more moms in the workplace. A new Pew poll shows the share of American households with kids led by bread-winning women has quadrupled over the past half-century, to 40%.

Part of the change is self-evident. These days women make up about half of the workforce in the United States, but there are changing family dynamics at play.

Single moms are running a quarter of all American homes with children - a share that has more than tripled since 1960. They still make less money than their married counterparts.
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