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 news on the crisis in Ukraine, plus a look at the technology aiding in search for Flight 370.

The latest news on the crisis in Ukraine, plus a look at the technology aiding in search for Flight 370.

politics lead

October 29th, 2013
06:52 PM ET

Roundtable: GOP Senator threatens to hold things up until Benghazi witnesses come forward

Senator Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, tweeted Monday, "Where are the #Benghazi survivors? I'm going to block every appointment to the US Senate until they are made available to Congress."

"Lindsey Graham has to say that because Lindsey Graham is going to face a primary challenge on the right, and he's already seen as caving on the deal on the debt limit," said The Washington Post's Dana Milbank.
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politics lead

October 29th, 2013
06:31 PM ET

The Lead Read: 'Things That Matter'

According to The New York Daily News, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn was speaking at a Manhattan gala Monday, and reportedly said, "There's no comity with Harry Reid. I think he's an absolute a-hole."

CNN asked coburn about it Tuesday, and he refused comment. But Reid's office fired back, saying, "Nothing says 'comity' like childish playground name-calling, especially from a senator who has not sponsored a single piece of successful bipartisan legislation during his entire Senate career."

When CNN asked Coburn if he planned to talk to his frenemy anytime soon, he said he would. To be a fly on the wall.

Someone who praises the benefits of curse words is conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer. He dedicated an entire column to defending the f-word, like when former Vice President Dick Cheney decided to lay it on Senator Patrick Leahy.

It's all in his new book, "Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics."

Check out our interview with the author in the video above.

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national lead

October 29th, 2013
06:16 PM ET

Analysis: If you like your insurance plan, you can keep it? Not so much

By CNN Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper and Dan Donahue

Testifying on Capitol Hill Tuesday, the administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services – which rolled out the much-maligned website for the Affordable Care Act – said something Americans have not heard yet from anyone in the Obama administration.

"I want to apologize to you that the website has not worked as well as it should. We know how desperately you need affordable coverage," said CMS administrator Marilyn Tavenner.
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national lead

October 29th, 2013
06:15 PM ET

Intelligence director admits to U.S. spying on leaders

National Intelligence Director James Clapper admitted to spying on foreign leaders during an intelligence hearing. CNN's Jim Sciutto reports.

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pop lead

October 29th, 2013
06:03 PM ET

'Inside Mad' Magazine

For 61 years Mad Magazine has sewn subversive seeds of distrust. CNN's Jake Tapper bought his first issue at age 7 for $0.50 at an ice cream shop and read it until the cover came off.

The current issue is #523, costs nearly $6, and sports a cover mocking President Barack Obama for the NSA scandal.

CNN neglected to mention on-air that Mad Magazine is owned by Time Warner, the parent company of CNN.

"One of Mad's core reasons to exist is to question authority, because as you get older you'll realize that basically everybody has an agenda and everybody is lying to you," said longtime editor John Ficarra. "Mad really doesn't make up anything, we just sort of look at what's going on in society and say, 'Isn't this kind of weird, or stupid, or dumb?'"

Now, Ficarra has tapped the "usual gang of idiots" for "Inside Mad," a new book that highlights the magazine's far-reaching influence with contributions from readers and staff.
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