Russian President Vladimir Putin during a conference meeting on Sept. 24. Photo: Mikhail Klimentyev\TASS via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday proposed a deal with the United States that would guarantee neither country interfere in the other’s elections weeks before the U.S. holds its general election.

Why it matters: Putin's proposal comes amid warnings from U.S. intelligence and cyber experts that Moscow is trying to influence the U.S. presidential election.

Context: FBI Director Chris Wray told Congress on Sept. 17 that the bureau has seen "very active efforts by the Russians to influence our election in 2020," primarily to "denigrate Vice President Biden and what the Russians see as kind of an anti-Russian establishment."

  • National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director William Evanina said in August that the Russian government is "using a range of measures" to "denigrate former Vice President Biden."
  • Evanina added that some Kremlin-linked actors are trying to support President Trump’s candidacy on social media and Russian television, while others are spreading false claims about corruption to undermine Biden and the Democratic Party.

What they're saying: Putin said “one of the main strategic challenges of our time is the risk of a large-scale confrontation in the digital sphere," in a statement published Friday by the Kremlin.

  • He pushed for measures “to reboot our relations” in information and communication security by exchanging guarantees of non-intervention into the other’s internal affairs.

The big picture: Increasing evidence shows that foreign actors, particularly Russia, are looking to exploit similar themes that were used in 2016 and in 2018 to divide the country ahead of this years' election, Axios' Sara Fischer reports.

  • Russian state media accounts have sought to divide Democrats between centrists and progressives by casting Biden as an establishment centrist who can't be trusted by progressives.

Microsoft said on Sept. 10 that cyberattacks organized in Russia have consistently targeted consultants from both parties, political advocacy groups and national party organizations affiliated with the 2020 election since September of last year.

Go deeper

Scoop: Trump's post-election execution list

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: David Becker/Getty Images

If President Trump wins re-election, he'll move to immediately fire FBI Director Christopher Wray and also expects to replace CIA Director Gina Haspel and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, two people who've discussed these officials' fates with the president tell Axios.

The big picture: The list of planned replacements is much longer, but these are Trump's priorities, starting with Wray.

Updated Oct 23, 2020 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on the upcoming election

On Friday, October 23 Axios' Mike Allen, Margaret Talev, and Stef Kight hosted a conversation on voter turnout and how national security will play a key role in November's election, featuring Congressional Black Caucus Chair Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), CEO of Voto Latino María Teresa Kumar and former national security adviser H.R. McMaster.

María Teresa Kumar discussed Voto Latino's registration of 567,000 new voters in six key battleground states, and trends across the Latino electorate.

  • On the growth of eligible Latino voters and its effect on swing states: "Four million more young Latino voters are eligible to vote. Every 30 seconds, a young Latino becomes eligible to vote. So that is why you see such a shifting in our electoral map of what is now considered a toss up."

Rep. Karen Bass unpacked her concerns about the election, voter suppression, and her priorities in the coming weeks.

  • On President Trump's political rhetoric: "I'm really worried about November 4th, frankly, because the president has been so divisive...He doesn't use a dog whistle. He has a bullhorn and he's telling [white supremacist groups] to all come out."
  • On the priorities of the Congressional Black Caucus going into 2021: "Our number one, number two, and number three priorities are COVID. "

Retired Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster discussed Russia's attempts to disrupt U.S. elections in 2016 and 2020, American foreign policy, and his view of Russian President Vladimir Putin's long-term goals.

  • On Russia's election disruption strategies: "Russia is engaged in a sustained campaign of political subversion against us...The broad effort is to use disinformation to shake our confidence in who we are as a people, to polarize our society, to pit us against each other, and to shake our confidence in our democratic principles, institutions and processes."

Thank you Bank of America for sponsoring this event.

Poll: Hispanic vote key as Trump leads Biden in close Texas race

Biden in Houston in March. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Getty Images

President Trump leads Joe Biden 47% to 43% in Texas with just over a week until Election Day, according to the latest New York Times/Siena College poll.

Why it matters: Demographic changes and a wave of enthusiasm have some convinced that Texas could back a Democrat for president for the first time since 1976. But Biden's lagging support among Hispanic voters in the NYT/Siena poll could prove fatal to his chances of winning the state's 38 electoral votes.