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J. Scott Applewhite / AP

An agent who met with Sean Spicer told him that the going rate for speeches by most former White House press secretaries ranged from about $20,000 to $30,000. The agent said Spicer, who went elsewhere, thought he could get much more."He thought he was a much bigger deal than the others," the agent recalled. "His name I.D. is massive — he's obsessed with that. He kept talking about how everyone stops him for selfies — that's one of his go-to lines. It's true, by the way. It happened when I was talking to him."

At least for now, Spicey's getting the last laugh on President Trump, who mocked him in front of other aides, and members of the press corps, with whom he had an unusually venomous relationship.

It's unclear whether he'll get a TV deal — he says he doesn't need one. But he told me in an interview that he was mobbed during a recent trip to Europe:

  • "The U.S. press briefing had become part of their nightly viewing," he said. "It was a prime-time show from Europe to the Middle East. ... I'm one of the most popular guys in Ireland."

Among the possibilities Spicer is weighing:

  • Lucrative consultancies (not lobbying) to give advice to individuals and corporations.
  • Paid appearances on TV shows in Ireland and the U.K.
  • Hollywood productions have reached out.
  • There'll be no tell-all, but he's considering a book detailing lessons learned in crisis communications, at the White House and the Republican National Committee, where he was chief strategist.

When I asked Sean what he regretted from his time on the job, he replied: "You should read the book."

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Go deeper

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

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A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.

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Gen. Mark Milley. Photo: Rod Lamkey-Pool/Getty Images

Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned Wednesday that China's test of a hypersonic missile is "very concerning" and "very close" to the kind of "Sputnik moment" that triggered the Space Race during the Cold War.

Why it matters: The comments by America's top uniformed general underscore the depths of U.S. concerns about China's rapid military expansion and development of advanced weaponry.

Climate reckoning for oil and gas CEOs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Top executives from ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron and Shell will face a reckoning on Capitol Hill Thursday, as they're grilled on evidence that their companies knew for years that their products were driving climate change but chose to downplay or deny it.

Why it matters: The hearing before the House Oversight Committee will be the first time these executives have been brought together to provide sworn testimony regarding what they knew about the ties between their company's products and climate change, and when they knew it.