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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

July 4th, 2013
06:38 PM ET

Analysis: Weighing Washington's response to Egypt

President Barack Obama and the White House continue to tread delicately in formulating a response to developments in Cairo.

"They can't come out and call it a coup or side with one of the factions for obvious reasons, the foreign aid issue and also because the administration doesn't want to take the position it's opposing a democratically elected government in Egypt," said democratic strategist Julian Epstein.

Regardless, Republicans are taking the president to task for his support for Egypt's former leader.

"This administration has been seen to be allied to two repressive governments in a row," said Ramesh Ponnuru, senior editor for National Review and visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

The United States has provided Egypt with billions of dollars in economic and military aid. As the dust settles in Cairo and politicians reconvene in Washington after the July 4 recess, Congress will have to decide on the future of American support for the Middle Eastern nation in transition.

"Until there's a new, solid president or not there, they need to figure out what to do, because the clock is ticking," said Jackie Kucinich, host of The Washington Post's new politics show "In Play."

Check out the video above for full analysis of Washington's reactions to the coup.

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world lead

July 4th, 2013
05:43 PM ET

No coup? Obama's careful words on Egypt

As the protesters roared in Tahir Square in Egypt, President Barack Obama and his top national security officials were hunkered down in the situation room at the White House, trying to game out an incredibly volatile and complicated situation, the vanilla statements coming from the State Department podium notwithstanding

"We are monitoring it very closely," said State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki Thursday, "and continue to believe that of course the Egyptian people deserve a peaceful political solution to the current crisis."

Hours after Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy was removed from power by the military, Obama released a carefully worded statement – and what he did not say mattered most.

He purposefully avoided using the word "coup."

He didn't call on the Egyptian military to restore power to 'the democratically elected civilian government,' but rather to "a democratically elected civilian government."

In other words, not necessarily Morsy's government.

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Filed under: World Lead

buried lead

July 4th, 2013
05:21 PM ET

On this Fourth of July, 'The Lead' salutes American heroes

Two hundred and thirty-seven years ago today, the continental Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence.

Perhaps most famously declaring, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Lesser known is the last sentence in that document, "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

There really are not that many of us who actually walk that walk, who truly pledge our lives and our sacred honor for this country, and for what it endeavors to represent – not just independence from Great Britain and King George III, but from the old order.

And yet every day we hear of those who do pledge their lives.

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money lead

July 4th, 2013
05:18 PM ET

Fourth of July fireworks cancelled thanks to federal budget cuts

For American children, there is nothing quite like Fourth of July fireworks - the awe, the excitement, the united American community congregating and looking to the skies.

Many outgrow that sense of wonder, but for children and their parents it is nothing short of magical.

For the children of members of the military, that feeling is even more intense and familial, given what members of the military – and their families – do for the United States, what they sacrifice.

But this year, because of Washington, D.C. dysfunction and the failure of the president and Congress, Democrats and Republicans, to arrive at a budget compromise, there will be no fireworks for the children at several military bases, from Hawaii to North Carolina.

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national lead

July 4th, 2013
05:17 PM ET

Building a case against Zimmerman

Jurors in the George Zimmerman trial are spending the holiday not in the courtroom, but sequestered until the trial resumes Friday.

Thursday's break comes after some of the most dramatic testimony of the trial to date, and jurors still haven't heard from Trayvon Martin's mother, who may testify Friday as the prosecution wraps up its case.

CNN legal correspondent Jean Casarez analyzes the case to date in the video above.

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