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

NFL's Roger Goodell to hold a press conference, the first in 9 days. We'll have the latest.

NFL's Roger Goodell to hold a press conference, the first in 9 days. We'll have the latest.

sports lead

September 19th, 2014
05:49 PM ET

When can we trust the NFL again?

(CNN) – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Friday announced a sweeping domestic abuse and sexual assault policy for the league's 32 teams, mandating all players and staff undergo education and training about how to prevent abuse.

But did he do enough to quell the criticism being leveled at the NFL, and the lack of trust in the league?

CNN "Unguarded" host Rachel Nichols and Sports Illustrated's Robert Klemko discuss.

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world lead

September 17th, 2014
06:03 PM ET

Roundtable: Should Obama have taken combat mission off the table in fight against ISIS?

(CNN) – There are mixed signals between the Pentagon, the Secretary of State, and the White House on what the U.S. strategy will be to defeat the terrorist group ISIS.

On the one hand, Obama is trying to explain this fight to the American people, and why the U.S. is using military force, says CNN political commentator and former White House press secretary Jay Carney. On the other hand, he says, military leaders have to fulfill their responsibilities in explaining what hypotheticals might look like.

"We're talking about mixed messages and substantive policy issues and that always puts the White House a little on the defensive," said Carney.

"I don't think it's a messaging question," said The Weekly Standard's William Kristol.
FULL POST

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world lead

September 17th, 2014
05:46 PM ET

Debate over ISIS is also a debate of America's international role

(CNN) – The U.S. is clearly leading the military operation in the fight against ISIS.

But the debate over how that fight is carried out brings into question how large a role the U.S. plays in world events.

CNN's Jim Sciutto breaks it down for CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

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world lead

September 17th, 2014
05:30 PM ET

Fmr. NATO commander: Without question we will see our young men and women engaged in combat in Iraq

(CNN) – There is continued debate about the Obama administrations that there will be no boots on the ground in the fight against ISIS, no combat troops.

But there are already Americans wearing boots on the ground in Iraq and they will be involved in combat one way or another.

"Without question we will see our young men and women engaged in combat. I don't think they'll be given a primary, direct, combat assignment initially, but I think it's entirely possible that as events change and morph, the situation may ultimately require that," said former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Adm. James Stavridis. He is now the dean of the The Fletcher School at Tufts University.
FULL POST

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world lead

September 16th, 2014
06:23 PM ET

Al Qaeda branches urge terrorists in Syria to unite

(CNN) – Terrorist group ISIS was originally a branch of al Qaeda in Iraq.

But main al Qaeda leadership cut ties in February, after ISIS supposedly disobeyed orders. Among the groups ISIS is fighting in Syria now is an al Qaeda affiliate called the al Nusra front.

But other al Qaeda branches, in an extraordinary move, are calling on these terrorist forces in Syria to take a hard look in the mirror, put aside their differences and focus on what's really important to them – hating and killing Americans.

CNN's Pamela Brown reports.

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