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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?

politics lead

June 27th, 2013
07:18 PM ET

Analysis: Bumpy road in the House for immigration reform

The U.S. Senate gave final approval Thursday to a sweeping immigration bill, passing the legislation by a 68-32 vote.

The bill promises to overhaul immigration laws for the first time since 1986, creating a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented residents while ratcheting up security along the Mexican border.

It's all in the hands of the House now.
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buried lead

June 27th, 2013
07:13 PM ET

Report: NSA mined U.S. e-mail data

The Guardian newspaper reports that the National Security Agency was collecting and analyzing e-mail metadata from Americans in bulk. So the agency could know who Americans were e-mailing, who was emailing back, and which IP addresses were used, which could also give away physical locations.

But according to documents obtained by the newspaper, the actual content was off limits. The newspaper reports that the program started under former President George W. Bush's administration, and continued under President Barack Obama, until 2011 when it was stopped for "operational and resource reasons," according to a statement to the paper from the director of communications for national intelligence.

Meanwhile, the man who's been spilling the NSA's secrets, Edward Snowden, is still reportedly living out of a suitcase in the transit zone of the Moscow airport, where he has been for days.
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national lead

June 27th, 2013
07:07 PM ET

Analysis: If jury believes witness, self-defense is off the table for Zimmerman

Rachel Jeantel did not seem as easily rattled on the stand Thursday, compared with Wednesday's cross examination, when she often appeared combative and frustrated with the defense.

Still, her body language hinted that the witness box was pretty much the last place she wanted to be. But she chose to answer the bulk of the defense attorney's questions with a short, "Yes, sir."

"I think she came across more often than not just very raw, very authentic, not coached. But there was a difference between her demeanor yesterday and today," said CNN contributor Sunny Hostin.

Jeantel is a reluctant witness, saying she did not want to come forward from the very beginning.

"When you speak to jurors, those reluctant witnesses are the ones they tend to believe a bit more, because they're not stealth, they're not trying to write a book, they're not trying to be flamboyant, they're just being authentic," said Hostin.
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Who's watching the watchmen? Dept. of Homeland Security Inspector General accused of various misdeeds

national lead

June 27th, 2013
06:51 PM ET

Who's watching the watchmen? Dept. of Homeland Security Inspector General accused of various misdeeds

By CNN Chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper

Inspectors general are the internal watchdogs in government, the independent officers upon whom the public relies.

But what happens when the inspectors general themselves are accused of wrongdoing? Who watches the watchmen?

CNN has obtained a letter from the chair and ranking Republican on the Senate subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight to the acting inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, Charles Edwards, laying out a number of potentially damaging allegations against him, including his being susceptible to political pressure to the point that an investigation into Secret Service misconduct in Cartagena, Colombia, was scrubbed of damaging information.
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national lead

June 27th, 2013
06:23 PM ET

Analysis: Charges against bombing suspect show he was not hapless younger brother

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was officially charged Thursday for his role in the Boston Marathon bombings. Tsarnaev was indicted on 30 counts by a federal grand jury Thursday, 17 of which could result in the death penalty, like using a weapon of mass destruction.

He was also charged with 15 counts, including murder, by the state.

The 74-page indictment reports that when Tsarnaev was hiding in a boat in a Watertown, Massachusetts backyard, he wrote a message on the inside wall and beams of the boat saying, among other things, "The U.S. government is killing our innocent civilians," "I can't stand to see such evil go unpunished," "Stop killing our innocent people and we will stop," "We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all," and "Now I don't like killing innocent people it is forbidden in Islam but due to said (unintelligible) it is allowed."

The surprising thing from the indictment is the tone of it, said former assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security Juliette Kayyem.

"It is Dzhokhar. You read this indictment, and there's nothing about the older brother, there's nothing about, 'Oh, he's the hapless younger brother,'" said Kayyem. "He did a lot of things to make this attack work and it outlines what that chronology is."
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