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

Ebola in New York – we'll have the latest news on the patient, and talk to infectious disease experts.

Ebola in New York - we'll have the latest news on the patient, and talk to infectious disease experts.

world lead

May 30th, 2013
06:24 PM ET

Al Qaeda 'Inspire Magazine' praises Boston attack

An English-language propaganda tool for al Qaeda, Inspire Magazine, is celebrating the Boston Marathon attack in its latest issue, CNN has learned. The magazine also praises Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the suspects of the marathon attack, calling them "brothers."

"Yesterday it was Baghdad, today it is Boston. The question of 'who' and 'why' should be kept aside. You should be asking, 'where is next?'" reads one passage in the magazine.

In a previous issue, Inspire wrote an article titled "Make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom," which outlined directions for a pressure cooker bomb that was strikingly similar to the ones allegedly used by the Tsarnaev brothers in the marathon attack.

"They're trying to capitalize on this, to inspire more attacks. They're saying, 'We inspire this, our magazine inspired this,'" said Paul Cruickshank, CNN contributor and research fellow for the Center on Law and Security at New York University.

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world lead

May 30th, 2013
06:22 PM ET

Report: Toronto mayor knows location of video showing him smoking crack

His staff is fleeing in droves, but besieged Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is sticking with his story that he does not smoke crack.

In the latest twist, The Toronto Star's Kevin Donovan reported Thursday that, according to Donovan's sources, Ford told his staff two weeks ago that he knows where the video is, which is at odds with Ford's public statements.

"I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine. As for a video, I cannot comment on a video that I have never seen or does not exist," Ford told the press last Friday.

"This mayor, both when he was councilor and now mayor for a couple of years, is no stranger to issuing denials, and dismissing things that the media have reported. And this is just another one," Donovan told CNN. "What we've reported today is that he definitely made a comment, giving an apartment unit in a floor, and an actual municipal address where this video could be found."

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politics lead

May 30th, 2013
06:16 PM ET

Analysis: Tough questions for Obama's reported FBI pick would be 'grandstanding'

President Barack Obama's reported pick to head the FBI is Republican James Comey, a man who has had a career that at times reads like the exploits of a civil liberties superhero.

Comey was a high-ranking Justice Department official during former President George W. Bush's administration. He famously stood up to White House counsel Alberto Gonzales and Bush's chief of staff, Andrew Card in 2004, when they were reportedly trying to convince Attorney General John Ashcroft, who was lying in a hospital bed, to sign an extension on a controversial warrant-less domestic eavesdropping program.

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national lead

May 30th, 2013
06:05 PM ET

Rep. King: Suspicious letters to Obama and Bloomberg 'virtually identical'

Officials intercepted Thursday a letter addressed to President Barack Obama that was similar to threatening letters sent to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a gun-control group he founded.

"The law enforcement people I've spoken to say that the letters are virtually identical," said Congressman Peter King, R-New York. King is a member of the House Homeland Security Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Initial testing on the two letters sent to Bloomberg and his group came back positive for ricin, which has become the deadly poison of choice lately for mail attackers.

A source tells CNN that those letters contained the message: "You will have to kill me and my family before you get my guns. Anyone wants to come to my house will get shot in the face. The right to bear arms is my constitutional God given right and I will exercise that right till the day I die."

It is not clear what was written in the letter to the president. It has been sent to the FBI for testing; CNN has not yet confirmed if it contains ricin.

A source said the letter to the president was postmarked in Shreveport, Louisiana, just like the ones sent to Bloomberg and his gun control group.

Someone sent a ricin-tainted letter to the president, Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker, and a judge seven weeks ago.

"Part of it is copy cat. It's out there and got so much attention when it happened with Senator Wicker and it's really not that difficult," King said of the recent suspicious letters.

Given the media coverage and the fact that "the country is talking about it certainly makes an impact, and if a person feels that strongly about the gun issue in their own perverse way, they may feel this is a way of sending a national signal," said King.

Ricin is lethal and there is no antidote.

pop lead

May 30th, 2013
02:04 PM ET

Web exclusive: Jake Tapper has a cartoon-off with a millennial

Watch "The Lead" this Friday at 4 p.m. ET for our story on Matt Bors and the business of political cartoons.

Matt Bors, 29, is one of the industry's youngest, full-time political cartoonists. CNN's Jake Tapper, 44, is a self-described "failed cartoonist." (Tapper had a college comic strip - "Static Cling" - and also tried to have a comic strip syndicated.)

In the video above, watch the two of them draw their version of a typical Millennial and Generation X-er.

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