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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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UN poll: Most see climate change as global emergency amid pandemic

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64% of people from around the world say climate change is a global emergency, a United Nations poll published Wednesday finds.

Why it matters: It's biggest global survey on climate change ever conducted, with some 1.2 million participants from 50 countries — including the U.S. where 65% of those surveyed view climate change as an emergency.

Collins helps contractor before pro-Susan PAC gets donation

Sen. Susan Collins during her reelection campaign. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

A PAC backing Sen. Susan Collins in her high-stakes reelection campaign received $150,000 from an entity linked to the wife of a defense contractor whose firm Collins helped land a federal contract, new public records show.

Why it matters: The executive, Martin Kao of Honolulu, leaned heavily on his political connections to boost his business, federal prosecutors say in an ongoing criminal case against him. The donation linked to Kao was veiled until last week.

How cutting GOP corporate cash could backfire

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Companies pulling back on political donations, particularly to members of Congress who voted against certifying President Biden's election win, could inadvertently push Republicans to embrace their party's rightward fringe.

Why it matters: Scores of corporate PACs have paused, scaled back or entirely abandoned their political giving programs. While designed to distance those companies from events that coincided with this month's deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol, research suggests the moves could actually empower the far-right.