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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

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politics lead

December 30th, 2014
06:11 PM ET

House Speaker, Louisiana Democrat back embattled Rep. Scalise

Washington (CNN) - House Republican leadership is standing by Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 3-ranking House Republican, in the wake of a firestorm of criticism surrounding his 2002 speech to a white supremacist group.

Scalise's position as House majority whip has been thrown into doubt by the revelation, and the congressman had been calling members to gauge the level of support he had from his party, according to a senior House Republican source.

But House Speaker John Boehner, in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon, said Scalise has his "full confidence" as whip.

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politics lead

December 29th, 2014
06:34 PM ET

House leader 'likely' spoke to white supremacist group in 2002

Washington (CNN) - Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 3-ranking House Republican, isn't denying a Louisiana blog's allegation that he spoke at a white supremacist forum in 2002.

According to an agenda for the event and notes attendees posted afterward, Scalise appeared at the National/International EURO Workshop on Civil Rights - a forum hosted by a white nationalist organization founded by David Duke, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

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politics lead

December 26th, 2014
05:34 PM ET

Rick Perry on possible 2016 run: 'I will be prepared'

Austin, Texas (CNN) – Standing in the governor's mansion here, Rick Perry is eager to give us a tour, and a history lesson.

From how a nick got into the banister (a predecessor put nails in to stop his daughter from sliding down), to why Sam Houston crumpled up a telegram from Abraham Lincoln and threw it in the living room fireplace (he was too old to fight alongside Union troops).

This is not the Rick Perry the country saw during his ill-fated, at times embarrassing, 2012 presidential campaign. And that's the point.

He is about to step down as Texas governor after 14 years, the longest serving in Lone Star state history, and is trying to reintroduce himself as competent and charismatic as he test drives his message for a probable second White House run.
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politics lead

December 23rd, 2014
05:25 PM ET

A felon serve in Congress? Michael Grimm will test House

Washington (CNN) - After pleading guilty to a judge Tuesday on a felony tax evasion charge, New York Rep. Michael Grimm pledged to reporters he would also stay in Congress.

Grimm pled guilty in court to one count of tax evasion and was set to submit to a "statement of facts" that admits to all the conduct alleged in the 20-count federal indictment.

He apologized for his actions and took responsibility, but said the unpaid taxes from a New York restaurant he once owned were all a big mistake.

"As long as I'm able to serve I'm going to serve," Grimm said. Reelected in November, he was is set to be sworn in to a new term in January.

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politics lead

December 23rd, 2014
05:20 PM ET

Naughty politicians inspire sex scandal play

(CNN) – Mark Twain first told us that truth can be stranger than fiction, which is of course true. But in this instance, it's funnier, too.

That's the premise behind the off-Broadway comedy "Tail! Spin!," the story of some of the most memorable political sex scandals of recent times. Remember these classics?

Mark Sanford, former South Carolina Governor: "As much as I did talk about going to the Appalachian Trail, that isn't where I ended up."

Anthony Weiner, former U.S. Congressman: "I have engaged in several inappropriate conversations, conducted over Twitter, Facebook, email and occasionally on the phone with women I had met online."

Larry Craig, former Idaho Senator: "I am not gay. I have never been gay."

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