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

Will Maine enforce quarantine on nurse who treated Ebola patients?

Will Maine enforce quarantine on nurse who treated Ebola patients?

buried lead

October 30th, 2014
05:29 PM ET

Fmr. Blackwater CEO defends company amidst manslaughter convictions

(CNN) – The Nusoor Square massacre was a major turning point in the Iraq War – a shoot out in the streets of Baghdad that left 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians dead at the hands of four American security contractors working for Blackwater – the now infamous private security contractor.

"I will not second-guess the split-second decisions of my men," founder and former CEO of Blackwater Erik Prince writes of the incident in his new book, "Civilian Warriors: The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror."

Last week, an American jury disagreed, and found three of Prince's former employees guilty of voluntary manslaughter, and one guilty of first-degree murder. But Prince stood by the security contractors.

"I'm not going to second-guess their actions," said Prince. "They were operating with the rules of engagement dictated to them by the State Departments, with the whole use of force continuum."
FULL POST

national lead

October 27th, 2014
06:01 PM ET

Grandfather of Marysville shooting victim: He's walking and talking

(CNN) – A victim of Friday's shooting at Marysville Pilchuck High School greeted his grandfather with a wonderful surprise this morning.

"I start walking down the hallway, and here he comes around the corner, walking with his nurse holding onto his arm," said Don Hatch, Jr., who had gone to the hospital to visit his 14-year-old grandson, Nate.

"Really surprising the progress he had in the last few days," Hatch said. "I couldn't believe it."

Yesterday, Nate was even talking, said Hatch, adding that "a lot of prayers" have been answered.
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national lead

October 24th, 2014
06:06 PM ET

Shooter’s friend: It came out of nowhere

(CNN) – A popular freshman shocked friends, fellow students, and teachers when he opened fire at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. The gunman shot five people, killing one, before killing himself, law enforcement officials say.

"It just came out of nowhere. I honestly wouldn't expect it," student Frankie Pina, a friend of the shooter, told CNN.

"We used to be very good friends. We kind of drifted away a little bit. And now this happened," the junior said.

The gunman, whom witnesses identify as Jaylen Fryberg, was not a violent person, said Pina. Fryberg's girlfriend had broken up with him, and his tweets had recently taken a dark turn, he said.

He sent "scary" tweets "about hurting himself and stuff like that," said Pina.

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national lead

October 24th, 2014
05:31 PM ET

School shooting: Why a popular freshman would do this

(CNN) – Witnesses say a popular freshman, a member of the football team and the homecoming prince, took a gun to his school, and shot his friends and fellow students.

It's hard to understand, but not uncommon says Dave Cullen, author of "Columbine."

"It's all about the perspective of person. Objectively he may seem popular to us. But the person, especially a kid in high school, doesn't see it that way," Cullen said in an interview with "The Lead with Jake Tapper."
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national lead

October 24th, 2014
04:42 PM ET

Witness: He shot them in their backs

(CNN)Marysville-Pilchuck High School freshman Jordan Luton was having lunch in the school cafeteria Friday, when a classmate walked in and opened fire.

The shooter walked up to a table where his friends were sitting, said Luton.

"He came up from behind, and had a gun in his hand, and fired about six bullets into the backs of them. And they were his friends, so it wasn't just random," Luton said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."
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