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.






Federal appeals court denies Trump campaign’s effort to challenge PA results: “the claims have no merit”; CDC committee calls for emergency meeting Dec 1 on vaccine distribution; U.S. aircraft carrier moving back into Persian Gulf for cover as troops are

Trump snaps at reporter who asked about conceding; For the first time, Trump says he will leave white house if electoral college votes for Biden; Trump won’t say if he will attend Biden’s inauguration; Trump says he’ll campaign in GA senate runoffs; Ex-election security chief: “I stand by” my statement, the election was the most secure in American history; Biden & Harris to receive first presidential daily briefing on Monday; Biden expected to announce economic team next week; U.S. sets...


Trump announces full pardon for Michael Flynn; Biden urges Americans to recommit to fighting pandemic; Staggering Covid numbers going into Thanksgiving

Biden: “every decision we make matters” in fighting Covid; Biden urges unity: “we’re at war with a virus, not each other”; Trump cancels PA trip, makes baseless claims of voter fraud at GOP event on speaker phone; Trump calls into PA event with baseless election claims; Sources: pardon for Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort and George Papadopoulos under discussion at White House; Trump announces full pardon for Michael Flynn; CA shatters single-day record with nearly 17-thousand cases; “This is...


Biden introduces first cabinet picks, declares “America Is Back”; Doctor: We’re all “really, really scared of what’s to come”; New details on timing of GSA’s formal approval of Biden transition: Record pandemic-era air travel despite CDC guidance to stay

Trump makes surprise appearance to brag about stock market before annual turkey pardoning; Biden: America will “lead the world, not retreat from it”; Biden: Team brings experience, leadership, fresh thinking; Trump makes two brief appearances today, takes no questions; Trump’s HHS Secy” We’re “Immediately” getting Biden team all material they feel they need; Experts warn new covid surges could force rationing of care; Surgeon general warns hospitals could become too overwhelmed to treat...


Biden announces his first cabinet picks, names top members of foreign policy and national security team; Astrazeneca: vaccine shows 70% “average efficacy”; Michigan State board votes to certify Biden’s election win

Biden names Antony Blinken as Secretary of State; Trump campaign drops lawyers who pushed conspiracies; Biden nominees include first immigrant as Homeland Security secretary & first woman to lead intel community; Trump’s “election defense” donations also go to his leadership PAC; Millions travel for Thanksgiving amid Covid-19 surge; Doctor: n95 masks are still in short supply; NJ Gov: GSA chief’s failure to recognize Biden’s win poses “devastating impacts” in New Jersey To learn more about...


Biden, Harris meet with Dem leaders Schumer, Pelosi; Pfizer requests FDA emergency use today for its COVID vaccine; U.S. sees record -setting 187,000+ cases in a single day; President stalls transition process by refusing to concede;

Trump falsely claims “I won” the election; President Trump continues quest to overturn election, meeting with Michigan GOP lawmakers; President-elect Biden speeding up key cabinet decisions; Biden adds more staff to incoming administration; Michigan state lawmakers at WH for meeting with Trump; Source: Handful of alarmed Republicans discussing Trump intervention; In latest fundraising pitch, 75% of donations to legal battle go to Trump Post-Presidency PAC; Distribution of first doses of...


Biden: “No national shutdown”; CDC recommends against travel for Thanksgiving; U.S. death toll surpasses 251,000 as pandemic rages; Biden: We’re witnessing “incredible irresponsibility” from Trump; Giuliani, Trump Campaign officials try to overturn electi

Biden to meet with Schumer & Pelosi tomorrow in Delaware; Source: MI GOP Officials asked to rescind vote to certify election after personal calls from President Trump; Source: Trump told ally he knows he lost, but wants to get back at Dems for questioning legitimacy of his 2016 win; Biden, Harris speak after meeting with governors; Biden: There’s no excuse to not share data and let us plan; Biden: Not going to rule out legal action on transition; WH testing Czar on pandemic: “This will get...


Trump fires election security chief who debunked his fraud claims; Biden meets with health care workers about Covid response; U.S. hospitalizations at record 76,830, up 20% in one week; GA Secy of State: audit found no widespread voter fraud

Source: HHS staffers told not to communicate with Biden team; official: Trump in “bunker mentality” as he stayed behind closed doors; Biden: if Trump keeps delaying transition briefings, our Covid response will be “behind by weeks or months”; Biden coronavirus adviser: “we will be ready on day one”; Sources: Biden considering RI, NM govs for HHS secretary; WH: Trump canceled Thanksgiving trip because he’s “hard at work”; GOP split on Trump’s decision to fire DHS official; NYC schools close...


Trump orders troop drawdown during final days in office; Biden meets with top intelligence & defense experts in lieu of security briefing being blocked by Trump; GA Secy of State says Sen. Lindsey Graham asked him to “look hard” for ballots to throw out;

Acting Defense Secy announces troop drawdown in Afghanistan, Iraq; Biden: Top job as President is “protecting the American people”; Biden announces senior White House staff; Biden: U.S. “been through a lot of damage in the last 4 years; President Trump shares praise of campaign lawyer who pushes deranged conspiracy theories; Sources: President Trump in “dark mood”; Trump’s 10th day since election without any public events; Advisers split on strategy as Trump legal challenges fail; Another...


Biden: “more people may die” if Trump & GOP obstruct transition; Moderna: Coronavirus vaccine 94.5% effective; VP Pence speaks with governors amid major vaccine news; CNN: U.S. military told to plan for U.S. troop drawdown in Afghanistan & Iraq in final d

Biden: Trump & GOP refusing to allow transition is “ more embarrassing than debilitating” to the country; Pandemic reaches worst levels yet as Trump denies Biden transition access to key agencies; Biden: sooner we get transition plan, sooner vaccine can move forward; Fauci: it’s “obvious” that coordination with Biden amin would be better for U.S. public health, Trump hasn’t attended task force meetings in “several” months; Ex-GOP rep: republicans “need to intercede” with Trump; Trump...


Biden team seeks Covid backchannels as transition blocked; New daily cases skyrocket to 153K; Hospitalizations hit record 67K; White House: Two Covid vaccines may be authorized by end of year; Trump speaks for first time since election loss to Biden;

Biden to take "deliberative" approach to filling cabinet; SF halts all indoor dining, NY closes bars & restaurants at 10pm in effort to curb spread; Influential model predicts 439K deaths in U.S. by March 1; Two Covid vaccines, two therapeutics may be granted emergency use authorization before end of this year; Study: New mutant Covid strain could spread more easily; Trump touts vaccine & economy; says no more lockdowns; To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit...


Trump remains out of public sight, refusing to concede; Biden talks COVID stimulus with Pelosi, Schumer in first post-election call with Dem leaders; Dr. Gupta: COVID surge “humanitarian disaster”; 14-day quarantine before Thanksgiving should start today;

Some Republicans begin to recognize Biden as President-elect; Record 144,000 new cases in one day in U.S.; Sources: Trump children split on post-election approach; Biden moves forward with transition without help from Trump admin; President-elect Biden names Ron Klain as his WH Chief of Staff; Pope Francis congratulates Biden in phone call; President-elect Biden blocked from getting intel briefings; Bernie Sanders says he would accept Labor Secretary if Biden asks; Biden transition aide...


Source: Trump showed no signs of conceding in meeting with advisers; More foreign leaders have congratulated Biden than GOP Senators; CDC issues robust Thanksgiving guidance as cases surge in U.S.; Two Georgia runoff elections may determine control of Sen

Source: Trump wants to continue legal challenges; WH political director latest in Trump orbit to get coronavirus; Source: Biden team projecting sense of inevitability, concerned any aggressive actions could backfire; Biden lays wreath at ceremony marking Veterans Day; Biden’s message to world leaders: “America is back”; President-elect Biden meeting with transition advisers today; Only four GOP senators publicly congratulate Biden on win; 61,000+ Americans currently hospitalized with...


Biden on Trump’s refusal to concede: “It’s an embarrassment”; Jake one-on-one with Dr. Fauci; 17 states seeing record high number of hospitalizations; Could Arizona and Georgia turn blue?; Supreme Court signals ACA will survive latest challenge; Attorney

Pompeo denies election results: “There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump Administration”; Biden: I haven’t talked to Mitch McConnell yet; Biden: GOP is “mildly intimidated” by Trump; Source: WH Budget Office tells agencies to continue preparing Trump budget for February; Fauci: Vaccine doses may be available by end of Nov.; U.S. has added 100,000+ new cases every day for the last week; El Paso requests four more temporary morgue trucks as cases surge; Dr. Fauci: News about...


Trump fires defense secretary Esper after election defeat; McConnell: Trump “within his rights” to wage legal fight; Pfizer CEO: vaccine more than 90% effective; U.S. surpasses 10 million coronavirus cases;

Source: Trump personnel chief threatens to fire anyone looking for another job; Trump refuses to concede or accept results of election; Sen Graham: Trump could run in 2024 if court challenges fail; HUD secy Ben Carson & Trump legal adviser David Bossie test positive for coronavirus; DOW closes up 800+ points on vaccine news, Biden win; Trump refuses to concede, peddles false fraud claims; GOP allies urge Trump not to concede election; Senate balance of power depends on two runoffs in...


Biden urges patience, as Trump threatens lawsuits; Biden speaks as vote count continues in seven states; CNN projects Joe Biden wins Michigan, nearing 270 electoral votes

Only AK, AZ, GA NC, NV and PA to be called To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit


Biden campaign blitzes Pennsylvania on last day of campaign; The potential paths to victory for Trump & Biden; PA gov asks residents to be patient with election results; Judge reject GOP claims on ballots in two states; Virus surges as Trump suggests he m

Biden team eyes Pennsylvania on quest to rebuild “blue wall”; Biden campaign manager: “under no scenario will Donald Trump be declared a victor on election night”; Tomorrow: Biden to visit Scranton & Philadelphia; Trump on final blitz, holding five rallies today; Trump floats firing Fauci, but lacks direct power to do so; 96 million+ have already voted, 70% of all 2016 ballots; Federal judge rules 127,000 ballots cast via drive-thru in Texas can be counted; The fight for 270: Joe Biden’s...


Trump, Biden crisscross critical Midwest battleground states; U.S. coronavirus cases surpass 9 million; Biden blitzes upper Midwest in quest to rebuild “blue wall”; 85 million ballots already cast nationwide;

Multiple states report record high daily COVID-19 cases; Donald Trump Jr. claims COVID death numbers are “almost nothing” on day U.S. reports nearly 1K deaths; Trump holding 17 rallies in final four days of race; Biden: “We cannot afford four more years of Donald Trump”; Influential model predicts 2,250 Americans will die daily by mid-January; Person in California tests positive for COVID-19 and the flu; Current GOP Rep asks: What happened to his party?; Biden, Harris to barnstorm...


Trump, Biden hold dueling rallies in crucial state of Florida; U.S. reports third highest number of new daily COVID cases ever; CNN investigates COVID spread linked to Trump rallies; A look at Trump’s & Biden’s plans to create jobs;

Trump, Biden in Florida as state sees coronavirus surge; Biden tells rally crowd “if Florida goes blue, it’s over”; Biden Campaign says it’s “aggressively” courting Latino voters; Biden vows exec order to help reunite separated immigrant kids; Dem group spending $10 million in Ohio & Texas; Fauci warns of “whole lot of pain” as U.S. COVID cases surge; 41 states report increases in COVID-19 cases; Fmr. FDA Chief: Now is the “hardest point” in pandemic; WH task force warns of “unrelenting”...


New CNN poll: Biden leads among early voters while Trump leads among those who will vote on Election Day; Kushner in April: Trump taking U.S. “back from the doctors”; Trump vs. Biden on pandemic policy: where do they stand?; 74 million+ ballots cast so fa

Trump’s approval rating sits at 42% in new CNN poll; Trump makes last-minute cross-country push for votes; WH touts “ending” pandemic as cases, hospitalizations soar; WH calls Miles Taylor, “Anonymous” author, a “low-level disgruntled former staffer”; Biden: Trump’s handling of pandemic “an insult” to those suffering; Trump, Biden campaigns target key states in final days; Giroir: “cases are going up. It’s not just a function of testing”; South Dakota gov: my people are “happy”, “free”...


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...