Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.
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Beaumont, Texas (CNN) – Can Ted Cruz imagine being in the Oval Office in 2017?
He didn't say no, but he did pause to acknowledge how much heartburn that would cause the people he likes to call the Washington establishment.
"I think you'd probably have to – to buy some Alka Seltzer for an awful lot of people in Washington, if – if 2017 occurred and that happened," Cruz said with a chuckle.
Cruz's light hearted response quickly turned serious – since he was responding to a question about Ukraine – what he would do if he were in commander-in-chief and Kiev was burning.
"Let me answer it this way. Whoever is president in 2017, I very much hope Kiev is not still on fire. What is happening in Ukraine right now is both incredibly heartening and incredibly tragic," Cruz told CNN in an exclusive interview.
Washington (CNN) – Rep. Paul Ryan, the top Republican involved in budget talks, told reporters Tuesday that negotiators were closing in on a deal with a Friday deadline for doing so fast approaching.
"We're making really good progress. We're getting close. Don't have a timeline for you," Ryan said.
Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray have spent the past two months working on a budget agreement that would set government spending levels and replace the automatic spending cuts scheduled to hit early next year.