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 and analysis on the U.S. and several Arab nations striking ISIS targets in Syria.

The latest news and analysis on the U.S. and several Arab nations striking ISIS targets in Syria.

world lead

September 22nd, 2014
06:34 PM ET

Fmr. CENTCOM commander: Residual U.S. troops in Iraq wouldn't have prevented rise of ISIS

(CNN) – Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta criticized President Barack Obama's handling of Syria and Iraq, saying providing more aggressive aid to Syrian rebels and leaving a residual force in Iraq may have prevented the rapid rise of the terrorist group ISIS.

In an interview on CBS News' "60 Minutes" that aired Sunday evening, Panetta told Scott Pelley that he "really thought that it was important for us to maintain a presence in Iraq."

The United States withdrew its last combat troops from Iraq in 2011 after an agreement could not be reached with Iraqi President Nuri al-Maliki about residual U.S. troops.

But former CENTCOM commander Gen. Anthony Zinni (Ret.), who opposed the Iraq War in 2003, disagrees with Panetta.
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politics lead

September 22nd, 2014
06:12 PM ET

Chris Christie builds profile as he eyes 2016 presidential run

Washington (CNN) - When he won re-election by a landslide last year, Chris Christie's calling card became the Republican who can get Democratic votes.

This week, the New Jersey governor travels to three blue states - Illinois, Connecticut and Michigan - to show Republicans gubernatorial candidates how it's done.

It's a busy travel schedule that comes as government sources say they have no evidence so far that Christie was personally involved in last year's George Washington Bridge scandal. The governor has long said he had no previous knowledge of the plot to close down access lanes to the country's busiest bridge out of apparent political retribution.

Christie is clearly relieved.

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Filed under: Politics Lead

world lead

September 22nd, 2014
06:05 PM ET

What's at stake if Kurdish fighters lose the battle against ISIS

(CNN) - Hundreds of thousands of Kurds are fleeing Syria to cross into Turkey. They are on the run as ISIS terrorists quickly gain new ground and close in on their villages.
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national lead

September 22nd, 2014
05:56 PM ET

Fmr. Secret Service director: The White House needs a better fence

(CNN) – After two security incidents in as many days, the U.S. Secret Service is planning to boost its presence and its surveillance measures around the White House.

On Friday, Omar Gonzalez, an Iraq war veteran apparently suffering from PTSD, hopped the north fence and sprinted just past the north portico White House doors when he was stopped, Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said.

In the second security incident over the weekend, Kevin Carr is accused of driving up to a security barrier Saturday and trying to walk to and enter the White House.

Former Secret Service director Ralph Basham said the fence around the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue is particularly vulnerable.

"That is the problem," said Basham, founder of Command Consulting Group, a security firm. "It took this individual less than 30 seconds" to scale the fence.
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Filed under: National Lead

sports lead

September 22nd, 2014
05:52 PM ET

Ravens owner: ESPN report on Rice video untrue

(CNN) – Did the Baltimore Ravens merely drop the ball in its handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence case, or was something more sinister at play?

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti addressed the media Monday for the first time since ESPN released a bombshell story, reporting Ravens officials knew about the videotape that showed the team's star running back hitting his then-fiancée, long before it went public.
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