Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.
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(CNN) - House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul says pulling movies, like "The Interview" and "Team America," from theaters gives the North Korean hackers a "victory."
"Sony and private movie theaters are free to make any choices that they think are necessary," Rep. McCaul told CNN's Jake Tapper. "However, I do think by pulling the movies they gave the North Koreans - and let's be honest where this threat came from - what they effectively did was give them a victory and gave them what they wanted to achieve, which was the pulling down of this movie. I hope at some point this movie will be shown and the intrigue over it will make it more of a money maker. But I think pulling it gave them exactly what they wanted."
(CNN) - The Cuban-U.S. spy swap comes with significant and some would even say detestable strings attached.
Members of the so-called 'Cuban Five' were not just secret agents for the Cuban government. One of them was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, linked to the 1996 plot to shoot down two planes carrying Cuban-American activists who worked for the group "Brothers to the Rescue."
Mario de la Pena and Armando Alejandre were two men killed in that attack. Mario's mother, Miriam de la Pena, and Armando's daughter, Marlene Alejandre Triana, joined "The Lead" to react to the U.S.-Cuba prisoner swap.
"This is a slap in our faces. It is very sad that an innocent man like Alan Gross is going to be exchanged for a criminal, somebody that wanted to do so much harm to the United States of America like Gerardo Hernandez, because he is not only tied to the shoot down and the murder of my son, Marlene's dad and two other Americans. He's tied to espionage, and wanting to do harm to the United States of America," Miriam de la Pena told CNN's Jake Tapper.
(CNN) - Florida Senator Marco Rubio strongly condemned the Obama administration's shift in Cuban policy Wednesday, deeming it "a terrible arrangement for democracy and the Cuban people."
"Just think about what message does that send if you are a dissident on the island of Cuba. Imagine, for example, the "Ladies in White." This is a group of women who fight - every Sunday go to mass dressed in white and afterward march down the street in silent protest, sometimes not silent protest, for the tyrannical nature of this regime. They are summarily, systematically and regularly beaten, jailed. They're harassed during the week by the Cuban government. Imagine how they feel now to know that Barack Obama has fully embraced the Cuban government and would visit there, and as to further legitimize that," Rubio proposed to CNN's Jake Tapper. "What does that say for people who are fighting for freedom and liberty in Cuba and resisting the tyranny right now?"
The Republican Senator, who is of Cuban descent, added that the United States' "unilateral concessions," including normalizing diplomatic relations, is "a reconciliation of the Cuban government's legitimacy."
(CNN) - The Australian Ambassador to U.S. decried the "truly horrific" act of terrorism at a Sydney cafe on Monday, which left two hostages dead and four others wounded following a 16-hour standoff.
"These two lovely people and that utter rat bag. It’s truly horrific," Ambassador Kim Beazley remarked to CNN's Jake Tapper.
(CNN) - Australian officials had tried to negotiate the release of the hostages with the gunman before storming the cafe, but the ISIS sympathizer and self-proclaimed Islamic cleric Man Haron Monis remained defiant, leading Australian special forces and police to eventually storm the Lindt Chocolate Cafe after a 16-hour standoff.
At least two of the 17 hostages were killed during the rescue attempt, while four others were wounded.
A former Navy SEAL and member of the hostage working group in Iraq says, unfortunately, this might have been the inevitable outcome.