The Lead with Jake Tapper-logo

The Lead with Jake Tapper


CNN's chief Washington correspondent, Jake Tapper, hosts this hourlong weekday afternoon program, which mixes Tapper's interests with headlines from around the country and the world, headlines that span politics, money, sports and popular culture. "The Lead" also concentrates on bringing stories that aren't found on front pages -- buried leads -- to the forefront.

CNN's chief Washington correspondent, Jake Tapper, hosts this hourlong weekday afternoon program, which mixes Tapper's interests with headlines from around the country and the world, headlines that span politics, money, sports and popular culture. "The Lead" also concentrates on bringing stories that aren't found on front pages -- buried leads -- to the forefront.


Washington, DC


CNN's chief Washington correspondent, Jake Tapper, hosts this hourlong weekday afternoon program, which mixes Tapper's interests with headlines from around the country and the world, headlines that span politics, money, sports and popular culture. "The Lead" also concentrates on bringing stories that aren't found on front pages -- buried leads -- to the forefront.






Trump on defense, holding rallies in 3 states he won in 2016; Biden’s closing argument: I will “unite this nation”; Obama: Trump is “jealous of COVID’s media coverage”; U.S. averaging nearly 70,000 cases per day, highest level of pandemic; One-on-one with

Biden campaigning in Georgia, Trump carried GA in 2016; Trump holding reckless rallies, downplaying worsening pandemic; What final campaign events reveal about Trump, Biden strategies; Biden: U.S. needs “a president who cares less about his TV ratings and more about the American people”; Dr. Birx criticizes North Dakota over lack of mask usage; Positivity rates climb dramatically in states such as South Dakota; Former FDA Chief: U.S. on the cusp of “exponential spread” in cases; 11 states...


Biden takes questions at campaign stop in PA; DOW plunges as COVID cases hit record, stimulus talks drag out; More than 60 million Americans have cast early ballots; Nearly half of all registered voters in NC already cast ballots;

Biden on Trump holding rallies: “the example you set matters; Trump falsely says U.S. “rounding the corner” as nation records most cases in a week ever; Pence defying CDC guidance, holding a potential superspreader event; WH chief of staff admits “we’re not going to control the pandemic”; WH considers rose garden ceremony for Barrett’s swearing in despite last event being a superspreader; Trump administration faces second outbreak at the White House; Biden to travel to IA & WI on Friday,...


Trump, Biden offer different versions for America in final debate; U.S. adds 71,000+ new cases, highest since summer peak; The keys to victory for the GOP, Dems in tight Senate races; Coping with the stress of virtual learning; COVID-19 infections hit new

Fresh off final debate, candidates hit campaign trail; Trump holding rally at Florida retirement community; Biden: Trump’s handling of virus makes him unfit for office; GOP Adviser: Trump debate performance could be too late; COVID cases soar, hospitalizations spike & deaths climb across U.S.; Study: Masks could save 100,000+ U.S. lives through February; COVID hits L.A. megachurch that defied public health orders; Big 10 football set to begin tonight; Astrazeneca to resume its COVID vaccine...


Trump & Biden prepare for last big chance to make their pitch; Feds: Iran & Russia interfered in 2020 election; U.S. reports 1,000+ daily deaths for first time in over a month; Republicans pave way for full Senate vote Monday on Trump’s Supreme Court nomi

Tonight: Trump & Biden face off in final presidential debate; Trump advisers plead for president to take less combative approach; Trump says he “may” change strategy from last debate; WH: Trump tests negative for COVID-19 ahead of final debate; Campaign: Biden will appeal directly to voters, say we can get through this crisis together; Biden on tonight’s debate: Hopefully Trump plays “by the rules”; Biden preparing for Trump to attack his son Hunter; Biden punts on expanding Supreme Court,...


CNN poll: Biden has a 10-point lead over Trump in Pennsylvania, no clear leader in Florida; Covid cases surging across nation, hospitalizations highest in 2 months; Trump, Biden make last minute appeal to senior voters

Trump: “what the hell is going on” with lockdown measures; Azar: “I am the president’s health secretary, I speak for him”; Ivanka Trump to fundraise with president in Nashville; Romney: “I did not vote for President Trump”; Tonight: Obama rallies for Biden in first campaign appearance; No state is trending in the right direction for Covid cases; Fauci: it looks like we’ll have a difficult fall and winter; 10 states report record high Covid hospitalizations; Volunteer in Brazil’s Astrazeneca...


Trump Adviser: "Not smart" for President to attack Fauci; Former special ops commander who oversaw Osama Bin Laden raid says he voted for Biden; Can either candidate win without a victory in Florida?; Speaker Pelosi projects optimism in COVID stimulus tal

Fauci calls Trump's attacks on him a "distraction"; Trump continuing reckless rallies as COVID cases surge; Melania Trump cancels plans to attend Trump rally due to continuing coronavirus recovery; U.S. Four-Star Admiral: The world no longer looks up to America; Fmr top special operations commander says U.S. needs a president with decency and respect; Fmr FDA Commissioner: U.S. is one week away from a "rapid acceleration" in COVID cases; 42 states report increase in COVID hospitalizations...


Trump: “people are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots”; Biden to Trump: Americans are “tired of your lies about this virus”; Infectious disease doc warns “darkest” weeks of pandemic ahead; Exploring the possible paths to victory for Trump, Biden;

Trump repeats attack on Fauci as COVID cases surge in U.S.; Trump calls Fauci a “disaster,” says people are tired of COVID during campaign call; Fauci says people at highest risk of COVID should take vaccine first; CNN: task force frustrated with Trump’s science-denying Dr. Atlas; Biden responds to Trump’s attacks on Fauci, says all Trump has done is “cower and wallow in self-pity”; Trump on campaign calls says he will win, though “I wouldn’t have said that three weeks ago”; With big war...


Trump claims he will be “ending” pandemic “soon” as U.S. surpasses 8 million confirmed cases; Biden details plan to expand access to Affordable Health Care; More than 20 million ballots cast before election day; Trump to hold rally in Wisconsin as cases,

Biden: Americans don’t panic, Donald Trump panicked; Trump refuses to denounce QAnon conspiracy theories; Biden slams Trump’s tolerance of right-wing extremists; Biden hits Trump’s coronavirus response; Trump lies about masks, claims U.S. “rounding the corner” on virus; Trump still won’t say if he got a COVID test on debate day; Biden: Trump knew and lied about COVID; Biden says losing the election could mean he was a “lousy candidate”; Young voter asks Biden: “Besides ‘you ain’t black’ what...


Trump claims U.S. is doing “fine” with coronavirus; Nearly 60,000 new cases & 985 deaths reported Wed.; Fauci calls push for herd immunity “nonsense”; French President says curfew could be extended until December; Trump & Biden in separate town halls toni

Trump falsely says 85% of people wearing masks catch coronavirus; Trump falsely claims Dr. Fauci, who has served under 6 presidents, is a Democrat; Trump: I’m not tested every day “but I’m tested a lot”; Trump: “Not doing any more lockdowns” if cases spike; Sen. Harris off trail after two recent contacts test positive; Sen Harris & husband tested negative for virus today; 35 states report rise in new cases, seven states report record high hospitalizations; Beverly Hills bans...


First Lady tweets Barron Trump tested positive, but since has tested negative; No state trending in the right direction with Covid cases; CNN: Feds chased suspected foreign link to Trump’s campaign cash for three years; Sen. Kamala Harris questions Trump’

NIH directors: the president is “not infectious for anyone else”; Trump to suburban women: “will you please like me?”; Trump to hold rally in Iowa as state reports 100k+ virus cases; Wisconsin opens field hospital as Covid cases surge; W.H.O.: most Covid transmission happening in households; No state trending in the right direction with Covid cases; Poll: African Americans more reluctant to try a Covid vaccine; Mystery probe of Trump campaign cash revealed; WaPo: Justice Dept. will not...


Cases, hospitalizations up with 21 days until election; Trump mocks COVID as cases rise across U.S.; Barrett won’t say if she would recuse from Obamacare decision; Biden campaigns in Florida one day after Trump; 8-hour wait times reported at Georgia early

Trump’s Supreme Court pick faces Senators’ questions; Trump plans aggressive rally schedule to reset campaign; Trump at Florida rally: “I’ll just give you a big fat kiss”; Trump again attacks Fauci as he hosts another rally tonight; WH: Trump “having a blast”, will do multiple rallies a day; Several states seeing spikes in cases, hospitalizations; Doctor says Trump tested negative on consecutive days; NY implements new restrictions as COVID clusters emerge; COVID cases as U.S. nears 8...


Trump returns to campaign trail for first time since COVID diagnosis; No social distancing, few masks at site of Trump’s first rally; Team Biden to spend final weeks of race in states Trump won in 2016; First day of hearings for judge Amy Coney Barrett wr

Trump physician won’t say if president has tested negative yet; Trump begins four straight nights of rallies after being infected with coronavirus; President Trump falsely says he’s “immune” and virus will “disappear”; Meadows refuses to wear mask to talk to reporters after having been around president Trump; Fauci: Trump campaign ad took my comments out of context; Fauci asks Trump campaign to take down ad featuring him; Fauci says it would be “terrible,” “outrageous” & could “backfire” if...


Trump expected to host event at WH tomorrow despite having COVID; Trump on his COVID diagnosis: “I was not in great shape”; 13 charged in domestic terror plot to kidnap Michigan Gov.; COVID cases rising across all regions in the country;

Trump: I might not have recovered “at all” if not for experimental antibody therapy; Trump claims the Regeneron treatment he received is a “cure”; Trump pressures AG Barr to prosecute Obama, Biden; Trump expected to host event on WH South Lawn tomorrow despite having COVID, will address guests from balcony; Trump struggles with coughs during tv interview; Trump on coughing interview: there’s a “lingering thing” from COVID-19; Whitmer: Trump “complicit” for not denouncing far-right groups;...


Trump pulls out of next debate after it goes virtual; First interview with former vaccine director after leaving gov’t; FBI: militia plotted to kidnap Michigan governor, overthrow gov’t

Trump wants to restart rallies, claims he’s no longer contagious; Biden campaign rejects Trump’s demand to change debate dates; Fmr vaccine director: “more people are going to die because scientists are being pushed back”; Pelosi says Trump is “in an altered state” due to Covid; Fmr vaccine director calls Trump’s promotion of Covid drugs “shameful” and “reckless”; Rick Bright: “more people will die” because of Trump’s lack of transparency; Sources: aides trying to steer Trump away from...


Trump returns to Oval Office despite infection, briefed on stimulus and hurricane; Plexiglass barriers & 12 feet separate Pence, Harris on debate stage; Two top aides with infected Trump in Oval Office; Airline workers say they’re suffering due to lack of

Coronavirus cases trend up in 25 states, steady in 22 states, down in only three states; Trump returns to Oval office despite infection, briefed on stimulus and hurricane; Meadows and Scavino with Trump in Oval Office, wearing protective gear; Two top aides with infected Trump in Oval Office; Tampa International Airport to offer Covid tests to all passengers To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit


Stocks drop as Trump tweets he’s ending stimulus talks; Republicans push ahead to confirm Amy Coney Barrett; Biden: Mask wearing, social distancing aren’t political statements; Pence team objects plexiglass barrier at tomorrow’s VP debate;

Trump’s physician: Trump reports no symptoms, doing “extremely well”; No signs Trump’s battle with coronavirus has changed his views of virus; Officials: Trump to record video message today, no plans for live address; Trump again falsely claims COVID-19 is less deadly than the flu; Critics attack Trump for maskless, balcony photo-op; Infected GOP Sen: I’ll vote in a “moon suit” to confirm Barrett; Biden speaks at campaign event in Gettysburg, PA; Long lines as early voting begins today in...


Trump says he’s leaving hospital tonight as he downplays COVID; Brand new CNN polls on Trump’s handling of coronavirus; Biden campaigning in Florida today after negative tests; Coronavirus cases rising across the country;

Trump tweets that he’s leaving hospital tonight; Trump’s doctor: president to leave hospital even though he “may not be entirely out of the woods yet”; New CNN poll: 63% say Trump irresponsibly handled the risk of virus infection to others around him; Only 30% of Americans trust most of what they hear from White House about Trump’s health; 60% disapprove of Trump’s handling of pandemic; 51% of Americans would get low-cost coronavirus vaccine, down from 66% in May; Growing number of women,...


President & First Lady test positive for COVID-19; Meadows confirms WH knew Hicks positive before Trump went to NJ; Biden: I’ve had two COVID tests since this morning;

Trump campaigned despite top aide being symptomatic; WH Press Secy: President Trump being treated with Regeneron antibody cocktail; Concern over COVID exposure inside White House; WH: Trump has “mild symptoms” after positive COVID-19 test; Pelosi spokesperson: Speaker tests negative for COVID-19; WH Press Secy: President is “fatigued but in good spirits”; Source: President Trump has had a fever since this morning; To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit


Trump launches xenophobic attacks after failing again to condemn white supremacy; Airlines cut 32,000 employees as Congress fails to reach stimulus deal; Biden tries to toe the line between moderate & far-left Dems; Sources: Trump allies described Trump’s

Source: “It may eventually sink in” Trump didn’t do well in debate; Trump fails again to denounce white supremacy; WH won’t directly denounce white supremacy, says Trump didn’t misspeak; Top Senate Republican urges Trump to condemn white supremacy; WH won’t commit that Trump will agree to new debate rules; Trump claims debate victory, asks “why would I allow” rules to change; Barrett signed a right to life better in ad calling to end Roe vs. Wade; This week: Disney, Goldman Sachs, & airlines...


Trump again refuses to explicitly condemn white supremacists; Debate commission: more structure will be added to debates; Masks politicized debate, Trump mocks Biden for wearing one

Trump claims he doesn’t know who Proud Boys are, now says “stand down” after telling far-right group to “stand by”; CNN goes inside a Proud Boys rally in Portland; Far-right group celebrates Trump debate shout-out; Biden calls Trump’s debate performance a “national embarrassment”; Biden: hope debate commission can control Trump’s behavior; Biden: Trump “looks down on us”; Trump refuses to dissuade supporters from violence; NFL game postponed; league threatens suspensions & forfeited draft...