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The Bitcoin community reacts to crash

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Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies crashed hard, and many people aren’t taking it well.  

Down from the near-$20,000 highs of early December, Bitcoin plummeted 25 percent on Tuesday to as low as $10,194. This hasn’t gone over so well with those who poured their life savings into cryptocurrency. 

Just how bad is it? Well, at the time of this writing, a post providing the phone number of the U.S. National Suicide Hotline sat at the top of the cryptocurrency Reddit

Image: reddit

Importantly, it’s not just Bitcoin that’s down. Everything from Ether, to Ripple, to Bitcoin Cash, to Litecoin is presently taking a bath. Read more…

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Apple forgot the greatest lesson of the MacBook Air

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Ten years ago, Steve Jobs hopped on stage at Macworld 2008 and did another one of his seemingly impossible magic tricks: He undid the string on a manila envelope, pulled out the MacBook Air, and forever changed laptops forever.

On Monday, the MacBook Air turned 10 (time flies!), and while it’s incredible how much the thin, light and tapered computer has influenced all laptops, it also serves as a lesson on how Apple can make its family of MacBooks great again.

The MacBook Air wasn’t an instant hit at first. Sure, it was the thinnest and lightest laptop the world had ever seen, but it was ultimately such an underpowered machine that it was better to just buy a bigger, bulkier MacBook or MacBook Pro instead. Read more…

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Update your résumé this year by learning these tech and leadership skills

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Heads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable’s commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

It’s a new year, and that means another chance to reinvent yourself (or at least consider the idea). If you’ve been unhappy at work for a while now, maybe it’s time to start looking elsewhere. But are your skills like so 2010? 

Luckily, you don’t have to go back to school to make yourself relevant. Right now, you can learn the top in-demand skills with eduCBA Professional Training, which includes over 5,000 different courses. Typically, you’d have to pay upwards of $8,000 to take these online classes, but you can get the whole eduCBA Professional Training bundle right now for just $99. A 98% discount? Yes, please. Read more…

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How Startups Are Transforming Retail

Startups are changing how retail functions online and offline. From virtual reality to better payment systems, they are transforming the industry. Startups are bringing new and exciting changes to how you shop every day.

Robot Store Associates

Imagine walking into a store and being greeted by a smiling robot that is automatically restocking shelves and keeping track of merchandise. This imaginary scenario is not far from reality. With a gray body that resembles a pole or stick and two black eyes on a digital screen, Tally is a robotic store associate that can analyze shelves. This robot is able to see if items are running low or misplaced. In addition, Tally can check for pricing errors and alert staff before there is a scramble to buy all the mislabeled shampoo bottles for less than a dollar.

Easier Payment Systems

The days of struggling to write a check or fumbling with a credit card are quickly fading. Instead, startups are making it easier for shoppers to pay in convenient ways. They are offering virtual wallets and faster transactions. They are also giving customers more payment options and not restricting them to one method. For example, a point of sale software system allows shoppers to pay with credit cards, Android Pay and Apple Pay. This means no more eye rolls while you waste 10 minutes writing a check at the counter.

Virtual Reality Innovations

Startups know that virtual reality (VR) is the next phase, and it is infiltrating the retail industry. Designers like Tommy Hilfiger are already letting customers attend virtual fashion shows from the comfort of their homes. Other retailers are quickly catching up with both Ikea and Swarovski offering virtual reality shopping apps. You can already purchase virtual store software programs that allow you to visualize a shop’s layout and design. It is clear that VR is becoming accepted and will continue to grow. Soon, everyone will be able to order a new couch or lamp that blends perfectly with the rest of the room without leaving the house.

Customer Loyalty Programs

Most retailers understand the value of retaining happy customers and turning them into repeat shoppers. According to recent data, 79 percent of all consumers search for loyalty programs before buying something, and 74 percent admit to choosing a retailer based on their reward programs. Stores that offer incentives are winning and engaging with more customers.

Startups are also aware of the power of customer reward programs and are part of this trend. They are building customizable loyalty programs that are digital, so shoppers do not have to remember to use a card or coupon. In addition, they make it easier to track points and expiration dates automatically, which gives customer service a break. The days of carrying a dozen customer loyalty cards in your wallet are going away. Instead, you will be able to log into the programs with your phone or other device and instantly get rewards.

Startups are changing how the world shops, and retailers are catching up. From robot associates to reward programs, […]

The post How Startups Are Transforming Retail appeared first on VentureBreak.

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THE MOBILE BANKING COMPETITIVE EDGE REPORT: How banks rank on offering the features consumers say are critical for choosing a bank

Pacesetters updated

This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service. This report is exclusively available to enterprise subscribers. Check to see if your company has access

Banks are going to new lengths to attract and retain customers with mobile features. 

In BI Intelligence’s Mobile Banking Competitive Edge study, 83% of respondents said they use mobile banking. And banks are investing in mobile banking capabilities at unprecedented levels: Bank of America tripled its 2015 mobile banking budget in 2016, and maintained it through 2017, for example. Cutting-edge banking services are “table-stakes to attract and retain customers,” according to Michelle Moore, Head of Digital at Bank of America.

BI Intelligence’s first Mobile Banking Competitive Edge Report identifies which mobile banking and emerging features are most important to consumers when choosing a bank. The study ranks the largest 15 banks and credit unions in the US by whether they offer the mobile features that customers say they care most about. The report helps channel strategists choose which features they should focus their attention on, and lets them see how they compare to rival banks in offering those features. 

This study uses exclusive data from the BI Insiders Panel (BIIP), an exclusive online community of 17,000 of our readers from all over the world. Designed to be a leading-edge indicator of what’s next in digital, BIIP members tend to be affluent, tech-savvy early adopters. This means that the BIIP community is an especially sensitive indicator of what consumers will buy and adopt, as well as what behaviors, devices, and platforms will be the winners in digital disruption. 

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • Wells Fargo leads the pack. The bank offers in-demand mobile transfer capabilities, along with competitive features related to security and mobile wallets. USAA follows closely behind in second. Bank of America and Citi are tied for third, and Capital One rounds out the top five.
  • Mobile transfers are the most in-demand mobile features. Transfers are the most important category of features to consumers when choosing a bank, according to our study. The most in-demand feature in this study, instant transfers, is in this category. Transfers also include bill pay, international transfers, and peer-to-peer (P2P) payments.
  • Post-Equifax, consumer interest in security tools is high. Security and control was the second most popular category in the study. Gen Xers value several features in this category — such as setting travel notifications and mobile access to ATMs — more than millennials.
  • Interest in advanced mobile banking account access is poised to jump. The account access section, the third most popular in this study, includes features like biometrics and account aggregation. With Face ID giving customers a new way to log in to banking, interest in the group of features will likely rise.
  • In spite of lagging adoption, interest in mobile wallets is still healthy. This category weighs not only whether banks support provisioning their cards in each of the popular wallets, but if they offer their own bank-branded wallets. Our study shows consumers rank support of third-party wallets as much more important than banking solutions.
  • Conversational features have the lowest demand in the study. The voice- or chatbot-based banking tools in the category are desired by only a small fraction of consumers. Instead of using the features to attract new customers, banks are exploring offloading costly transitional conversations with live support staff to AI. 

 In full, the report:

  • Shows how 32 mobile features stack up according to how important consumers say they are for choosing a new bank.
  • Ranks the top 15 banks on whether they offer each of those features.
  • Analyzes how demographics effect demand for different mobile features.
  • Provides strategies for banks to best attract and retain customers with mobile features.

The full report is available to BI Intelligence enterprise clients. To learn more about this report, email Senior Account Executive Chris Roth (croth@businessinsider.com). BI Intelligence’s Mobile Banking Competitive Edge study includes: Bank of America, BB&T, Capital One, Chase, Citibank, Fifth Third, HSBC, Key Bank, Navy Federal Credit Union, PNC, SunTrust, TD, US Bank, and USAA.

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Over 1,000 charged for sharing revenge porn on Facebook

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Over 1000 people have been charged for sharing sexually explicit content without consent on Facebook in the biggest case of its kind in Denmark.

According to Danish police, two videos and a sexually explicit image involving two 15-year-olds were originally posted to Facebook Messenger, the platform’s private chat service. The video was then shared hundreds of times across the platform, and now, a total of 1,004 young people have been charged — and about 800 are male, reports Bloomberg. While the content was posted by someone within Denmark, it’s unclear if everyone accused of sharing it are from the country. Read more…

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A woman’s tactic for deflecting unwanted attention from guys at the gym has gone viral for all the right reasons

fitness weight lifting weightlifting workout gym exercise womanShutterstock

  • A Twitter user shared a recent experience at the gym which has gone viral.
  • She witnessed a girl pretend she had just farted in order to get a guy who had approached her and her friend to leave them alone.
  • Tweet has been shared over 22,000 times and received over 130,000 likes.

American author Olivia Cole, who uses the Twitter handle @RantingOwl, shared a situation she witnessed at the gym with her followers — and it has certainly got people talking.

Cole, who is from Louisville, Kentucky, said she was at the gym when a guy approached two young women — and they came up with a creative way to deflect his unwanted attention.

Tweet Embed:
https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/951230484134154240?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
GUYS. Just now. In gym.

*guy approaches two women working out, with flirtatious eyebrows at the ready*

Girl 1: UH you might not want to come over here, dude. I just farted. It’s bad.

Guy: *looks horrified. leaves.*

Girl 2: omg did you really?

Girl 1: psh no.

Cole added that the girl in question was only 21 years old.

The message has been retweeted over 22,000 times and received over 130,000 likes. It has prompted an outpouring of comments and congratulatory memes from users.

Tweet Embed:
https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/951255058280169472?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
OLIVIA. pic.twitter.com/FFtwqR7iVs

People have been applauding the girl’s tactic…

Tweet Embed:
https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/951992624659025920?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Girl 1 is my hero!Tweet Embed:
https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/951710276662870016?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
SheroTweet Embed:
https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/951815023659171841?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Incredible 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻Tweet Embed:
https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/951947038463229953?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Epic. She should teach seminars. We could all learn from her.

…And posting plenty of memes in support.

Tweet Embed:
https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/951805673679085569?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Oh hells yes pic.twitter.com/18LFYP6X2tTweet Embed:
https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/951703282619166720?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
I will eat the hugest bowl of cheddar-smothered broccoli, beans, & rice before every workout if this works even HALF of the time. Someone verify this for me. pic.twitter.com/2nFd354OjS

Not everyone was convinced the situation actually happened, though.

Tweet Embed:
https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/952269097072406528?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
I’ll take didn’t happen for 200.Tweet Embed:
https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/952247872568913921?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Didn’t happen. Blocked.

There have also been some more concerned reactions to Coles’ tweet, including comments from users who said they could relate to the situation and were ready to put this new tactic into action out of sheer necessity.

Tweet Embed:
https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/951535006085799938?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
I’m SO doing this. Had guy approach me to tell me my form was “off” & if I did it his way, I’d also be working my abs to lose my belly. I held out my dumbbell & he nearly fell over taking it. He left it on floor & I said, “I’m pregnant. I lift everyday.” Haven’t seen him since.Tweet Embed:
https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/951732446558552065?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
@ecastle_22 if this isn’t me nothing isTweet Embed:
https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/951847839465865217?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
@maddier23220 this is ligit youTweet Embed:
https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/951920580990611456?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
I’m telling my daughter to use this line!Tweet Embed:
https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/951818329655840769?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
@beejyb this is 100% our gym plan. 😂😂😂Tweet Embed:
https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/951789614133665792?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
@uakatie new tacticTweet Embed:
https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/951703378672914437?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
I actually just joined there, because my previous gym was so bad that I had to file a complaint against an EMPLOYEE….who still works there. My sit-down w/ their new GM did nothing.

NOW WATCH: Check out these unique bikes if you’re looking for an upgrade

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Learn the secrets to becoming a full-time freelancer by taking these online classes

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Heads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable’s commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

Working from home is seriously the best. Why not do it full-time?

Don’t get us wrong. It can be hard to kickstart a professional freelancing career. Which is why you might need a little boost in the right directionThis set of online courses dedicated to professional freelancing offers some great tips and inspiration and is a good place to start.

Separately, these 11 courses would typically cost about $2,200, but you can get the whole bundle for only $29 for a limited time. Here’s a glimpse of the useful skills you’ll learn on your way to becoming a well-paid freelancer: Read more…

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The way a narcissist’s brain works can help unravel whether they mean to hurt their partners or not

woman mirrorAli Marel / Unsplash

  • Being in a relationship with a narcissist is hard work.
  • They are very insecure and sensitive people, which means they can take offence very easily.
  • This can end up in couples having the same arguments over and over again.
  • Sometimes they are unaware of being abusive to their partners, but other times they will genuinely want to cause them harm.
  • Ultimately, as their partner, you have to decide whether the hard work is worth it for you in the long run.

If you are in a relationship with a narcissist, you will have been through a roller-coaster of ups and downs.

At the beginning, everything would have been wonderful. You might have even thought you’d found your soul mate. But after a while, things started to go sour.

This is because after a few weeks, months, or even years, the narcissist will no longer see any value in you. As soon as they realise you are a real human being, and thus flawed, they struggle to see the use of you any more. They’ll start blaming you for things, shouting at you, or even break up with you, leaving you to try and work out what went wrong.

But for many reasons, it is hard to answer the question: “Do narcissists mean to hurt people?”

Narcissists get offended very easily

Elinor Greenberg, a therapist and author of the book “Borderline, Narcissistic, and Schizoid Adaptations: The Pursuit of Love, Admiration and Safety,” told Business Insider that narcissists are ultra-sensitive by definition.

“Narcissists are self-protective, and they have their antenna out for disrespect, or for someone taking something from them, and underneath they’re very insecure,” she said. “You have a whole range of people who are hyper-sensitive, lack empathy, for one reason or another, they don’t feel bad when you feel bad, so they can hurt you without realising it.”

Despite this, a narcissist’s own feelings can be hurt very easily. Because of their high sensitivity, any small thing their partner does can be seen as an attack, and any situation where they are not their partner’s focus is very difficult for them.

“For whatever reason, you’re seeing a person who is wildly insecure, and has no real inner confidence that they can depend on,” Greenberg said. “They depend on external validation.”

Without this constant validation by their partner, the narcissist isn’t getting what they want, and they end up seeking it elsewhere. This is why many narcissists often end up cheating.

In the heat of a moment, narcissists can come across incredibly cruel. They say things that many people would really struggle to say to someone they supposedly love. Greenberg said this is because of something called “object constancy.”

“Object constancy refers to the ability, if someone does something that disappoints you, to put that in the context of the whole relationship,” Greenberg said. “I may feel hurt and disappointed but I don’t hate you. You’re still the person who’s my dear friend, and it’s in context. If you don’t have object constancy, there is no context.”

In other words, the when the narcissist is shouting at you for whatever they think you did, there are no memories of the good times in their head. They are totally living in the single moment of being furious with you. In that moment, they truly hate you.

“There’s nothing holding it in context that limits it,” Greenberg explained. “So it goes from you were all good and a good person, to I hate you, you want to hurt me. You have hurt me, I must hurt you back.”

Even the smallest rows spiral out of control

Relationships are hard, even if you are with a non-narcissist. All couples have rows and have to navigate the various difficulties of living with another person. But those everyday spats become all the more serious and devastating to a relationship when the person you have them with always sees themselves as the victim. This makes even the tiniest disagreements escalate into full-blown rows, which can be incredibly exhausting for the narcissist’s partner.

“I see women, a number in my practice, who became extremely anxious and depressed, and their capacity to function diminished,” Greenberg said. “They had mental breakdowns, and one was delusional and paranoid, because the person just kept at them and at them, and they didn’t have the defences.”

Sometimes, the narcissist doesn’t mean to hurt you. Being sensitive to everything is just how their brains work. And if they are — by their own logic — being attacked, they will bite back even harder.

However, by their nature, they may also want to hurt you too, because it makes them feel superior.

Whether the relationship is worth it is up to you

In some ways, it isn’t worth working out what their intentions are because the results are the same. People in relationships with narcissists find themselves wrapped up in the same arguments time and time again. This is often followed by the punishment which could be an explosive confrontation, or cold silent treatment, depending on the type of narcissist they are with.

Greenberg has written an article that lays out the best way to approach a narcissist if you are in an argument with them. They think a completely different way, and so arguments have to be de-escalated differently too.

“Don’t expect an apology directly,” she explained. “Use ‘we’ language, and don’t ever ask them to process what happened — they can’t do that.”

Ultimately, it is draining to be in a relationship with a narcissist, and you have to accept the fact they will never empathise with your feelings, no matter how long you are together. Some may learn to be self-aware in time, and learn to notice when they are hurting you. But this still doesn’t guarantee they will care.

“Narcissists are primed to be abusive because they’re so hypersensitive, and they don’t have empathy, and they don’t have object constancy,” Greenberg said. “So they are primed to take offence and be abusive and not really understand… It’s a lot of work for the non-narcissistic mate.”

NOW WATCH: Meet the 18-year-old entrepreneur making a fortune selling rare sneakers to celebrities

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Which Type of Credit Cards Should You Use for Holiday Shopping in Singapore?

Tis the season (or nearly so) for Christmas presents, fancy parties and busted budgets. Singaporeans are known to spend more than a thousand dollars on Christmas gifts alone. Given this heightened level of spending, most of this expenditure will go on credit cards. One savvy step to reducing the impact of your holiday spending is […]

The post Which Type of Credit Cards Should You Use for Holiday Shopping in Singapore? appeared first on The New Savvy.

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Apple’s ‘I’m sorry’ for throttling old iPhones isn’t good enough for Congress

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The drama surrounding Apple’s old iPhone batteries isn’t over yet. 

Four U.S. House Republicans sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook on Friday asking for answers on batterygate. 

In December, Apple admitted to throttling the speed of older iPhones to increase battery performance, a long-time conspiracy theory among iPhone users that turned out to be true. As a result, Apple issued an apology to its customers, and announced reduced pricing for out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement, from $79 to $29. 

But the apology and explanation from the billion dollar company wasn’t enough for House Republicans, who want more answers on the subject, according to ReutersRead more…

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Find out how to launch your side hustle by taking this online class

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Heads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable’s commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

If you’re looking to make some extra money but can’t work any more overtime than you already are, a side hustle could be exactly what you’re looking for. 

With The Complete Side Hustle Bundle, learn how to make money by selling products online at places like ebay and Amazon over the course of 12 online classes you can take at your own pace.  Read more…

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Attention photographers: This wireless charging pad looks like a DSLR lens

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Heads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable’s commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

New year, new phone? Congratulations! Speaking of the new year, wire-powered charging is so 2017. Now that the new era of smartphones is here, it’s only right that you free yourself from the nuisances of cords and cables and embrace the wireless life. No more tripping over wires, no more untangling wires, and no more dealing with flimsy cables — wireless charging is what you deserve.

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Some of the most conservative congressmen are going all-out to fight for Trump against Mueller and the Russia investigation

Robert MuellerAlex Wong/Getty Images

  • President Donald Trump has gotten a huge boost from a handful of conservative House members in his quest to counter special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
  • Many of those congressmen are members of the conservative Freedom Caucus.
  • Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows told Business Insider that his members have taken the lead on battling Mueller because they have a disproportionate number of their members on a key committee.

While President Donald Trump has spent months seeking to delegitimize special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, a small group of conservative congressmen has done much of the heavy lifting in combating the investigation.

There’s Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, a freshman who is close to the Freedom Caucus and has led the right-wing charge to tear down the special counsel while focusing attention on 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and the 2010 Uranium One deal that has garnered much attention in the conservative press. In November, he even helped introduce a high-profile resolution to remove Mueller from the investigation. And he was influential in the effort to call for a second special counsel to investigate Clinton.

Late last year, Gaetz accused Mueller and his team of staging a “coup d’etat” against Trump.

A representative for Gaetz did not return a request for comment from Business Insider.

Meanwhile, Freedom Caucus heavyweights like Reps. Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows, Ron DeSantis, Louie Gohmert, and others have taken aim at Mueller, Clinton, the FBI, the Department of Justice, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, providing the White House with much-needed backup. They’ve taken aim at the probe in high-profile congressional hearings, held press conferences to criticize what they characterized as conflicts of interests among investigators working on the probe, and have reiterated some of the president’s favorite talking points, pointing to a “deep state” conspiracy.

Trump himself has taken notice. 

“Great congressmen, in particular, some of the congressmen have been unbelievable in pointing out what a witch hunt the whole thing is,” he told The New York Times last month.

Matt GaetzAP Photo/Steve CannonSome of the congressmen have been in touch with the administration to discuss the probe. Gaetz and DeSantis reportedly discussed the probe with Trump during an Air Force One flight last month. Asked in a CNN interview about whether he has discussed the probe with the administration, Jordan hinted that he talks with the White House “about all kinds of things.”

Meadows, the Freedom Caucus chairman, told Business Insider on Thursday that the handful of conservative members have been outspoken because a large number of them hold seats on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and have unique concerns and insights that members who defend Mueller and Sessions don’t have.

In total, nine of the 24 members of the Oversight Committee are Freedom Caucus members.

“A number of the more conservative members are on Oversight, so we get to see a little bit more clearly the lack of information coming from DOJ and the FBI,” he said.

He also noted that Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California, who has also worked to counter the Mueller’s investigation as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is not among the more conservative group. He praised Nunes as having “done great work” in that regard.

Fighting Mueller is consistent with the viewpoints that got Freedom Caucus members elected

Former Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who served as chairman of the Oversight Committee, agreed with Meadows’ assessment of why his members were so active on this front. Chaffetz, now a Fox News personality, told Business Insider on Friday that the Freedom Caucus’s efforts on fighting Mueller, Sessions, and Clinton are “compatible with their personal, political viewpoints and probably in large part what got them elected.”

Chaffetz added that, at least on the Hillary Clinton front, many of those same Freedom Caucus members who joined him in pushing for further investigations figured that the Trump administration, and Sessions in particular, would further that cause and “accelerate the opportunities to reveal the truth.”

“I think they’re understanding that the ‘deep state’ continues on regardless of who’s in power,” Chaffetz said. “You still have to fight the beast in order to extract truth. And that’s a hard uphill battle, but you have good people like Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan who are helping to lead that charge.”

Chaffetz is set to release a book in September titled “The Deep State: How an Army of Bureaucrats Protected Barack Obama and Is Working to Destroy Donald Trump.”

Asked why more mainstream conservatives haven’t linked up with the Freedom Caucus in their war against the “deep state,” Chaffetz said most of his former colleagues “don’t necessarily want the fight in order to extract the truth.”

“They’re just not prone to it, they have other legislative goals,” he said. “But the Oversight Committee, this is what we do. … Not every member wants to be in that combative role of extracting the truth, and that’s often what it takes.”

‘These guys are political nihilists’

Matt Mackowiak, a Republican strategist and president of the Potomac Strategy Group, told Business Insider that he believes the Freedom Caucus and closely-connected conservatives are not ramping up their efforts in hopes of garnering favor from the White House, but because they really “think the inquiry is tainted by what has been learned.”

“It’s really that simple,” he said. The Freedom Caucus “is a principled group.”

While the Freedom Caucus has made a huge effort to echo Trump on the Russia investigation, they have, at times, been a thorn in the administration’s side when it comes to some of its major legislative pushes, such as on repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Reed Galen, a Republican strategist who formerly served as Sen. John McCain’s deputy campaign manager for his 2008 presidential bid, said there are a couple of reasons why conservatives have rallied behind Trump on this cause.

Among them is that Trump “best represents” what their idea of government should be, and the members “probably really believe in the ‘deep state’ and black helicopters.”

“These guys are political nihilists,” he said. “They don’t believe in government, they don’t like and don’t want to contribute to legislative progress.” This allows them to work “on discrediting the state from their perch within it.”

NOW WATCH: This congressman wants to target the USPS to help stop the opioid crisis