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.

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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politics lead

September 22nd, 2014
05:37 PM ET

Secret Service beefs up presence after 2 White House security incidents

Washington (CNN) - The U.S. Secret Service boosted its presence and its surveillance measures around the White House on Monday after an Iraq war veteran, who is apparently suffering from PTSD, jumped over a White House fence.

Officers patrolling the area will be out in greater numbers and will be "looking for individuals who don't look like tourists," a federal law enforcement officer told CNN.

Two security incidents in two days have raised concerns about the safety at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

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politics lead

September 19th, 2014
06:31 PM ET

Too liberal vs. too conservative in Iowa Senate race

Spencer, Iowa (CNN) - Joni Ernst takes running for Senate literally. Try keeping up with her as she races through a rainy parade. It's a workout.

Ernst doesn't march, she sprints - darting side-to-side, shaking as many hands as possible - a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard recruiting potential voters for her campaign.

The Iraq War veteran and little-known conservative Iowa state senator burst onto the political scene earlier this year with the TV ad of the political primary season.

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politics lead

September 18th, 2014
06:29 PM ET

Paul falsely accuses McCain of meeting with ISIS

(CNN) – As the Senate prepares to vote on whether to arm Syrian rebels, Republican senator and potential 2016 presidential candidate Rand Paul gave an impassioned speech on the Senate floor.

"We don't even know who is in charge of the Free Syrian Army. The voted out one guy and in another and he didn't even know they were voting. There are estimates that half of the Free Syrian Army has defected to al Qaeda and ISIS," Paul said.

The Kentucky senator has been criticizing not just the Free Syrian Army, but also fellow Republican Sen. John McCain, who he says met with members of ISIS, and snapped a smiling photo with them.

The only problem? It's not true. CNN checked it out, and The Washington Post even said the claim deserves four Pinocchios for being so bogus.
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politics lead

September 16th, 2014
05:50 PM ET

Inhofe: Obama is ‘not telling the truth, we already have boots on the ground’ in Iraq

(CNN) – Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey appeared to leave the door open to at the very least recommend U.S. ground troops in Iraq in the future at a Senate hearing Tuesday.

"My view at this point is that this coalition is the appropriate way forward; I believe that will prove true but if fails to be true and there are threats to the United States, then of course I go back to the President and make a recommendation that may include the use of U.S. military ground forces," Dempsey testified.

But the Obama administration has said repeatedly there will be no boots on the ground, no U.S. combat troops, in this operation against ISIS.

"The President is just flat not telling the truth. We already have boots on the ground there," said Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Oklahoma.
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