Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer gave his first late-night appearance on Wednesday with Jimmy Kimmel. Among other things, he said he isn't writing a tell-all book because it would be "an act of betrayal," and that he did in fact have alerts on his phone every time the president tweeted.

Other highlights:

  • On the inauguration crowd size issue: "I think there was a faction of people out there that didn't want to give him the credit that he rightly deserved...Some of us who worked very hard to get him elected felt as though a lot of folks, in the media in particular, sought to undermine the validity of that election."
  • On the job of press secretary: " Your job as press secretary is to represent the President's voice…whether or not you agree or not isn't your job. Your job is to give him advice."
  • On the White House press corps: "I've never seen a group of individuals who protect themselves like the press corps does. They never once during my tenure, at least to my recollection, called out someone who has crossed the line on a story…they always have an excuse."
  • On labeling all journalists fake news: "It's the press corps that also lumps all of us into the same bucket as well, and says 'conservatives don't care about this,' 'the Republicans are racist'...if we don't want to lump every journalist into the same thing, then don't lump every Republican and every conservative into the same box."
  • On Scaramucci: " It wasn't that I had anything against Anthony…I just didn't feel as though he had the qualifications or the background to work in the communications office."
  • On leaving his position: "The President said to me right before I left, 'my gosh, you look 10 years younger.'"

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 20,755,406 — Total deaths: 752,225— Total recoveries: 12,917,934Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 5,246,760 — Total deaths: 167,052 — Total recoveries: 1,774,648 — Total tests: 64,831,306Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats to investigate scientist leading "Operation Warp Speed" vaccine projectMcConnell announces Senate will not hold votes until Sept. 8 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. 2020: Biden calls for 3-month national mask mandateBiden and Harris to receive coronavirus briefings 4 times a week.
  5. States: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to drop lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate.
  6. Business: Why the CARES Act makes 2020 the best year for companies to lose money.
  7. Public health: Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments Cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable.

Trump says he intends to give RNC speech on White House lawn

President Trump speaking to reporters on South Lawn in July. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump told the New York Post on Thursday that he plans to deliver his Republican National Convention speech from the White House lawn, despite bipartisan criticism of the optics and legality of the location.

Why it matters: Previous presidents avoided blurring staged campaign-style events — like party conventions — with official business of governing on the White House premises, per Politico.

Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Antibody drugs and various medicine cocktails against the coronavirus are progressing and may provide some relief before vaccines.

The big picture: Everyone wants to know how and when they can return to "normal" life, as vaccines are not expected to be ready for most Americans for at least a year. Two therapies are known to be helpful, and more could be announced by late September, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci tells Axios.