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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

2 hours ago - Health

U.S. surpasses 25 million COVID cases

A mass COVID-19 vaccination site at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 22 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The U.S has confirmed more than 25 million coronavirus cases, per Johns Hopkins data updated on Sunday.

The big picture: President Biden has said he expects the country's death toll to exceed 500,000 people by next month, as the rate of deaths due to the virus continues to escalate.

GOP implosion: Trump threats, payback

Spotted last week on a work van in Evansville, Ind. Photo: Sam Owens/The Evansville Courier & Press via Reuters

The GOP is getting torn apart by a spreading revolt against party leaders for failing to stand up for former President Trump and punish his critics.

Why it matters: Republican leaders suffered a nightmarish two months in Washington. Outside the nation’s capital, it's even worse.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
6 hours ago - Economy & Business

The limits of Biden's plan to cancel student debt

Data: New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax; Chart: Axios Visuals

There’s a growing consensus among Americans who want President Biden to cancel student debt — but addressing the ballooning debt burden is much more complicated than it seems.

Why it matters: Student debt is stopping millions of Americans from buying homes, buying cars and starting families. And the crisis is rapidly getting worse.