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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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world lead

May 15th, 2014
05:44 PM ET

#BringBackOurGirls with U.S. Special Forces?

(CNN) – For some, the way to help the 223 schoolgirls still being held hostage in Nigeria seems obvious – bring them back with force.

Beyond the hashtag activism of citizens, lawmakers like Sens. Susan Collins and John McCain are calling for boots on the ground.

The message from the Obama administration is more cautious, but nothing has been ruled out.

CNN's Jake Tapper reports.

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national lead

May 15th, 2014
05:27 PM ET

How can Obama still have confidence in Shinseki? WH chief of staff answers

(CNN) – President Barack Obama is standing by Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, who is under fire after veterans died waiting for appointments at VA hospitals.

"Shinseki has dedicated his life to the armed forces of the United States, to the defense of this country," White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

But it was Shinseki who put out a new order saying that any new applicants to the VA for primary care need to be seen within 14 days. Many critics wondered at the time if the VA was capable of meeting that target. Several VA hospitals are now under fire for cooking the books on wait times.

A fatal wait: Veterans languish and die on a VA hospital's secret list

So why is Shinseki not held accountable?

"You saw him go before Congress to (answer) a series of very difficult questions. But you also see him travel the country every day to talk to vets and their families. He holds himself accountable to his men and women with whom he served, whom he led for decades," says McDonough.
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national lead

May 15th, 2014
04:59 PM ET

Shinseki 'mad as hell' about VA allegations, but won't resign

Washington (CNN) - Under withering criticism, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki told a Senate committee on Thursday that he was "mad as hell" about allegations of deadly waiting times and coverup at VA hospitals but he doesn't plan to resign.

"Any allegation, any adverse incident like this makes me mad as hell," Shinseki said at the first congressional hearing since reports of 40 deaths in Phoenix that may be due to a lack of timely care for veterans.

Noting an inspector general's investigation was already underway, Shinseki said that "we will act" on any substantiated allegation, an assurance that angered senators from both parties who insisted the problems are real and need immediate action.

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