Rep. Mike Conaway on NBC’s Meet The Press this morning. Photo: William B. Plowman / NBC / NBC NewsWire via Getty Images

Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), who's leading the House Intelligence Committee through the Russia investigation, tells Axios he's worried Vladimir Putin could "test some things" in the 2018 midterm elections that he "would want to fully develop and blow out in a bigger way... in the presidential [election] in 2020."

What he's thinking: Conaway, previewing the Republicans' coming findings and recommendations during an interview in his Capitol Hill office, said that given the Russians used a nerve agent in Britain and penetrated the U.S. power grid, he doesn't "put anything past this guy [Putin]."

  • Conaway laid out one of his nightmare scenarios: "As an example, if they got into the voter registration data and planted a cyber bomb to go off at 7 a.m. on Election Day, they'd scramble that information." 
  • "So when the people went to the polls to vote, it's like, 'Whoop.  No, you're not registered.  We don't have your name.'  Well, think of the chaos that would create at a point where it would be really difficult to reset it, to not having it."

What's next: The House Intelligence Committee expects to release some of its findings from the Russia investigation on Thursday. And they also expect to release some of their recommendations to better secure the U.S. electoral system against foreign enemies.

Subscribe to Axios AM/PM for a daily rundown of what's new and why it matters, directly from Mike Allen.
Please enter a valid email.
Please enter a valid email.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Subscribed! Look for Axios AM and PM in your inbox tomorrow or read the latest Axios AM now.

Go deeper

Trump administration cuts refugee cap to new record low

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump administration plans to only admit a maximum of 15,000 refugees this fiscal year, the State Department said in a release late Wednesday evening.

Why it matters: This is yet another record low refugee cap. Before leaving office, President Obama set the refugee limit at 110,000 for fiscal year 2017 — a number Trump has continued to slash throughout his presidency.

Updated 32 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 34,018,143 — Total deaths: 1,014,995 — Total recoveries: 23,674,533Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 7,234,327 — Total deaths: 206,963 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Health: New poll shows alarming coronavirus vaccine skepticism — New research centers will study "long-haul" COVID — Coronavirus infections rise in 25 states.
  4. Business: Remdesivir is good business for Gilead.
  5. Retail: The holiday shopping season will now begin in October.
  6. 🎧Podcast: The looming second wave of airline layoffs.
Kendall Baker, author of Sports
55 mins ago - Sports

Barstool jumps into sports betting

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Barstool Sports was founded in 2003 as a free gambling newspaper. It later became a sports blog before growing into a media empire, and now things have come full circle with the recent launch of its own branded sportsbook.

Driving the news: The Barstool Sportsbook app saw a record 21,000 downloads per day during its first weekend (Sept. 18–20), breaking DraftKings' and Fanduel's daily records despite Pennsylvania being the only state where it was operational.