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

January 22nd, 2014
06:51 PM ET

Former drug czar: Like other baby boomers, Obama hasn't kept up with science of pot

(CNN) - Earlier this week, the ongoing debate about marijuana legalization in the United States reached a new high: President Barack Obama's White House.

"As has been well-documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life," Obama told New Yorker Editor David Remnick. "I don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol."

The President is not alone in his past indulgences. According to an August Gallup poll, 38% of Americans have toked tried marijuana, 5% more than in 1985.

Obama thinks that what he called experiments in Washington State and Colorado - legalization of marijuana for recreational use, not medicinal use - should go forward.

But the President's stance is contradicted by the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
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sports lead

January 22nd, 2014
06:34 PM ET

Richard Sherman: Thug is the new n-word

(CNN) - NFL player Richard Sherman responded to critics Wednesday, specifically addressing racist reactions to his post-game rant Sunday.

Sherman took issue with people who, after watching him rant about an opponent on Sunday, called him a thug.

"This seems like it's the accepted way of calling somebody the n-word nowadays. It's like everybody else says the n-word, and then they say thug, and, 'Oh, that's fine,'" Sherman told reporters.
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politics lead

January 22nd, 2014
06:26 PM ET

Roundtable: GOP plan on using abortion in 2014

(CNN) - The Republican National Committee is holding its winter meeting in Washington, D.C., which they have called "Building to Victory." As a hint to what issues they may be building on in 2014, they left the schedule open for members to attend the March for Life, the annual anti-abortion rally.

A resolution supported by 16 RNC members will be introduced at the meeting to, "support Republican pro-life candidates who fight back against Democratic deceptive war on women rhetoric by pointing out the extreme positions on abortion held by Democratic opponents," as first reported by CNN's Peter Hamby.

Is this a move to keep social issues a major component of the Republican party, or is it about keeping women in the fold? And with midterm elections this year, what else is on the agenda for Republicans?

CNN national political reporter Peter Hamby and CNN chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash discuss.

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world lead

January 22nd, 2014
06:22 PM ET

Israel: Arrested 'terror cell' planned U.S. Embassy attack

Jerusalem (CNN) - Israel has broken up an al Qaeda terror cell that planned a coordinated attack that included bombing the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israeli authorities said Wednesday.

Three men - two from Jerusalem and one from the West Bank - have been arrested in connection with the plot that called for a double suicide bombing targeting the embassy and the Jerusalem Convention Center, according to Israel's Shin Bet intelligence agency.

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national lead

January 22nd, 2014
06:07 PM ET

March for Life 2.0? A new approach to the annual anti-abortion rally

Washington (CNN) - Thousands of protesters marched through the snow and ice Wednesday, hoping to change minds on abortion - an issue that has divided the country for decades.

Since the case was decided in 1973, anti-abortion activists have come to Washington, D.C., every January to protest on the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.

"Our theme this year is adoption, and that adoption is a noble decision for a birth mother," said Jeanne Monahan, the newly installed president of March for Life.
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