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 on the Ebola crisis. Plus, reporter Matt Bai on scandal that changed political journalism.

The latest on the Ebola crisis. Plus, reporter Matt Bai on scandal that changed political journalism.

buried lead

October 14th, 2014
05:39 PM ET

CNN's Jake Tapper traces his roots to ...

(CNN) – Our very own Jake Tapper discovers his colonial roots! Though it’s not exactly what he’d hoped for.

The Philadelphia native travels to Canada, and is shocked to learn his ancestors ... were on the wrong side of the American Revolution.

Thirteen of CNN's anchors and hosts trace their family roots across the globe and back in time, beginning Sunday, October 12. Don't miss the two-hour ROOTS special, Tuesday, October 21 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

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October 13th, 2014
06:13 PM ET

Priest: New Vatican tone means ‘gays and lesbians are going to feel a lot more welcome’

(CNN) - In a stunning shift, a new Vatican report says the church should welcome and appreciate gays.

"Practically speaking it means a lot of gays and lesbians are going to feel a lot more welcome," says Jesuit priest Father James Martin, author of "Jesus: A Pilgrimage."
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September 8th, 2014
06:46 PM ET

Why hasn't Obama kept promise to declassify 28 pages of a report about 9/11?

(CNN) – A grim milestone this week, as the nation commemorates the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Some of those still grieving the losses of family members from that horrific day are also on a mission to declassify 28 pages from the congressional investigation into the attacks, pages specifically focused on the role of foreign governments in the al Qaeda plot.

These 9/11 family members say President Obama personally promised he would declassify those 28 pages, but now they say the White House does not even acknowledge them, or their requests.

CNN's Jake Tapper reports.

Editors note: After the airing of our report, National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden issued this response:

"Earlier this summer the White House requested that ODNI review the 28 pages from the joint inquiry for declassification. ODNI is currently coordinating the required interagency review and it is ongoing."

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July 8th, 2014
05:11 PM ET

Why Won't Washington Work: 65% of U.S. food aid budget not spent on food

Editor's note: Voters and lawmakers often express frustration about the gridlock in this town. Some of it is ideological, sincere difference on issues, but often there are other reasons why things here just don't function. "Why Won't Washington Work" is our series, attempting to shine a light on the reasons, the root causes, behind some of the hurdles to solving problems.

By CNN chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper, and Kim Berryman

Washington (CNN) – International typhoons, hurricanes, and earthquakes leave behind devastating scenes of poverty and need.

If you had about a $1.5 billion every year to send food to such desperate areas, how would you do it?

That is the job of Dr. Rajiv Shah, of the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID. His goal is to have the flexibility to buy food as close to disaster sites as possible, and get it to those in need as if their lives depended upon it, which they do.
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July 7th, 2014
05:44 PM ET

A former president's steamy affair with his neighbor's wife

Washington (CNN) – Long before computers or televisions existed, a man who would become a U.S. senator and then president started an affair with his neighbor's wife.

Even telephones were relatively new back then, so Warren Harding wrote Carrie Phillips smoldering love letters during their 15-year relationship that ended prior to his inauguration in 1921.

"I love you more than all the world, and have no hope of reward on Earth or hereafter, so precious as that in your dear arms, in your thrilling lips, in your matchless breasts, in your incomparable embrace," said a 1910 letter first revealed in the book "The Harding Affair" by James David Robenalt.

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