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

We've moved! Come join us at our new show page.

We've moved! Come join us at our new show page.

politics lead

May 20th, 2014
05:07 PM ET

Sen. McConnell faces primary hurdle

Louisville, Kentucky (CNN) – On the eve of primary day here, McConnell appears confident he has crushed his challenger from the right, Matt Bevin. But it remains to be seen how much of a toll the manpower and money he has spent against Bevin will take - whether it will weaken him in what is expected to be the toughest campaign against a Democratic challenger in the three decades he has been in office.


Posted by ,
Filed under: Politics Lead

national lead

September 18th, 2013
06:24 PM ET

Workers return to Navy Yard for first time since shooting

On Monday they arrived at work, likely expecting another routine day at the office. But a sick man on a mission to shatter as many innocent lives as he could turned their worlds upside down.

For the survivors who escaped the Navy Yard shooting spree without physical wounds, the mental and emotional scars will no doubt linger. But that didn't stop many of them from finding the strength to return to the very scene of a real-life nightmare.

CNN's Erin McPike reports.

Posted by ,
Filed under: National Lead

national lead

September 3rd, 2013
11:22 PM ET

President's men make case for Syria strike

The president sent his team to the Senate Tuesday to make his case.

"Are you going to be comfortable if Assad, as a result of the United States not doing anything, then gasses his people yet again?" Kerry said before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Facing public opposition and a skeptical Congress, they said using chemical weapons against your own people is so evil, it's only been done three times.

"The third instance was used by Adolf Hitler to gas millions of Jews. It was used by Saddam Hussein in order to gas Iraqis and his own - Iranians and his own people. And now, it has been used by Bashar al-Assad; three people in all of history," Kerry said.

White House officials Tuesday morning proclaimed that they had momentum, winning support for strikes from the top two House Republicans, but just hours later, Obama's team was facing tough questions.

Posted by ,
Filed under: National Lead

buried lead

June 28th, 2013
06:44 PM ET

Who watches the watchmen? Claims that inspector general violated ethics standards

Ethical standards within the Department of Homeland Security – sounds pretty important right?

A letter obtained by CNN from two U.S. senators alleges that the man in charge of guarding those ethical standards is abusing his authority.

According to the letter, whistleblowers in his department claim that Acting Inspector General Charles Edwards manipulated reports, used office funds for personal travel, and even forced employees to do his homework for a Ph.D program.

Cause of Action, a nonpartisan government accountability organization, is asking President Barack Obama to take a careful look at the allegations.

Dan Epstein, the organization’s executive director, told CNN that Edwards is clearly wasting American tax dollars and “creating a complete reversal of what someone who's dedicated their life to public service really should be doing.”

Epstein says there are serious questions as to whether Edwards’ behavior led to certain investigations being covered up. There are allegations that Edwards played a role in the scrubbing of the investigation into Secret Service agents hiring prostitutes prior to a presidential visit to Colombia.

A spokesman for the Inspector General’s office said Edwards is currently on vacation in India and is unavailable for comment. However, the Inspector General’s office has promised full cooperation with the Senators pursing more information on the allegations.

Update, July 2

In a written statement, Edwards said he will defend himself against these personal attacks.

"Allegations can be lodged anonymously by anyone. Truth can be distorted to misrepresent circumstances and make them appear improper when they are not.  Sadly, those persons that choose to anonymously attack me honor no boundaries, but I must follow Federal rules and not publicly disclose protected information as I present my defense," Edwards said in the statement.



Posted by ,
Filed under: Buried Lead

national lead

May 7th, 2013
07:32 PM ET

Moving on from a kidnapping

For the families of the three young women who spent a decade in captivity, it's a blessing to have them back.

"She always believed Gina was alive and well. She always believed that. I, you know, just want to say what a phenomenal Mother's Day gift she gets this Mother's Day."

For the victims, now they can begin to live again.

They can "enjoy their families, enjoy their new found freedom, and be open to support from experts as they're guided on their journey to healing," said John Ryan, CEO of the national center for missing and exploited children, says each year there are roughly 800,000 new kidnappings, and more are in long-term confinement than people realize.

Posted by ,
Filed under: National Lead