Photo: Andrew Harnik/AFP/Getty Images

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) — who'll be out Tuesday with his second book, "Them: Why We Hate Each Other — and How to Heal" — tells Axios:

"I had a conversation last month with one of the most senior U.S. intelligence officials, who told me that many leaders in the [Intelligence Committee] worry that we’re on the verge of a deepfakes [artificial intelligence algorithms that create convincing fake images, audio and video] 'perfect storm.'"

  • "Americans are so divided right now, about who we are and what we hold in common, that there are dozens of scabs at which malevolent foreign actors can pick in their efforts to weaken us."

Key conclusions from "Them":

  • "I talk with the leaders of the U.S. intelligence community nearly every day, and most of them are deeply anxious about information operations that are currently being conducted by foreign powers, which see an unexpected opportunity to undermine Americans' own confidence in our system, in our institutions, and in our American idea."
  • "Put more bluntly: Vladimir Putin loves cable news, and the divides it helps to solidify in the American soul."

Go deeper

Trump commutes Roger Stone's sentence

Roger Stone arriving at his sentencing hearing on Feb. 20. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump on Friday evening commuted the sentence of his longtime associate Roger Stone, according to two senior administration officials. Stone in February was sentenced to 40 months in prison for crimes including obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements to Congress.

Why it matters: The controversial move brings an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars. He had been scheduled to report to prison on July 14.

Updated 7 hours ago - Health

Which states have set single-day coronavirus records this week

Data: COVID Tracking Project and state health department data compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti and Naema Ahmed/Axios

13 states this week surpassed records set just last week for their highest number of coronavirus infections in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health department data. 16 states in total reported new highs.

The big picture: The United States' alarming rise in coronavirus cases isn't just due to increased testing — particularly where the number of cases has grown fastest over the last month, Axios' Andrew Witherspoon and Caitlin Owens report.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 12,389,660 — Total deaths: 557,279 — Total recoveries — 6,830,596Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 3,169,611 — Total deaths: 133,885 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,856,341Map.
  3. Public health: The reality of the coronavirus bites.
  4. Trade: Trump says he's no longer considering phase-two trade deal with China because the pandemic damaged the two countries' relationship.
  5. 🎧 Podcast: Rural America has its own coronavirus problem.