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.

national lead

May 12th, 2014
06:07 PM ET

Washington Monument reopens after quake repairs

(CNN) – Fresh off a $15 million, nearly three-year repair job, the Washington Monument reopened Monday.

One of Washington's most popular sites, the 555-foot obelisk had been closed since a magnitude-5.8 earthquake in August 2011 caused more than 150 cracks in the structure.

The National Park Service and the Trust for the National Mall hosted a reopening ceremony Monday morning. The ceremony included entertainment from "American Idol" winner Candice Glover, the Boy and Girl Choristers of Washington National Cathedral Choir, the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps and the U.S. Navy Band.

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politics lead

May 12th, 2014
05:57 PM ET

Analysis: Obama's new voters don't vote in midterms

(CNN) – President Barack Obama admits his party has a problem: They don't vote.

"Democrats have a congenital defect when it comes to our politics, and that is we like voting during presidential years, and during the midterms we don't vote. And so you already have lower voting totals during the midterms, and it's our folks that stay home," Obama said at a fundraiser Thursday.

Meanwhile, a new Gallup poll shows Republicans have a 10-point lead in voter enthusiasm going into the midterms.

So is the President right? The Atlantic's Molly Ball, and CNN political commentator and New Yorker correspondent Ryan Lizza discuss.

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world lead

May 12th, 2014
05:50 PM ET

Meet one girl who escaped from Boko Haram

(CNN) – A CNN team made the dangerous journey to Chibok to gather firsthand accounts of the abductions of 276 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram fighters nearly a month ago.

Before the gun-wielding Islamist militants rode into town, residents said they got cell phone calls that the feared extremist group was on the way. Family and friends from surrounding villages told them of a convoy of cargo trucks, pickups and motorcycles.

Residents said they passed along warnings to local authorities that night. Police called for reinforcements, but none came. Everyone, including police, fled into the bush. But the girls remained asleep in their dorms.

CNN's Nima Elbagir toured the school, gutted by militants as they fled, and spoke with one of the girls who managed to escape Boko Haram fighters that night.
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Clay Aiken primary opponent dies

politics lead

May 12th, 2014
05:41 PM ET

Clay Aiken primary opponent dies

(CNN) Keith Crisco, a businessman who was locked in a primary runoff for a Democratic congressional seat in North Carolina with Clay Aiken, has died, according to the company he co-founded and a Democratic source.

Details of his death were not immediately clear. He was 71.

He was running a very close second in the primary battle in North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District, around 300 votes behind Aiken.

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world lead

May 12th, 2014
05:28 PM ET

State Department official: It's Nigeria's 'call to make' to swap girls for prisoners

(CNN) – Would Nigeria's government negotiate with terrorists in order to secure the return of some 276 kidnapped girls? It may appear so.

"All options are on the table," a Nigerian government spokesman told CNN.

That conflicts with what Nigeria's interior minister told the BBC. He rejected the gambit, saying it was "absurd" for Boko Haram to try and set conditions.

The State Department seemed to caution Nigerian officials Monday against even considering a swap.

"Nigeria is in the lead. We are simply supporting their efforts," State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters. "The United States policy ... is to deny kidnappers the benefit of their criminal acts including ransoms or concessions."

"It's the Nigerians' call to make, to try to do whatever they can to secure the safe return, and the full return of the girls," said Deputy Assistant Secretary for the State Department's bureau of African Affairs Bisa Williams.
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