WATCH: Katie Porter tears down defense contractor whose employee bragged about ripping off taxpayers
Rep. Katie Porter (screengrab)

On Wednesday, during a hearing, Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) grilled Nick Howley, the executive of defense contractor TransDigm, about private boasts that the company was ripping off taxpayers — and it didn't go well for him.

"Do you recognize these words?" asked Porter. "Quote, 'We didn't have to give up a dime. I'm just full of B.S., and they took the bait.'"

"I don't — I don't have knowledge or recall it," said Howley.

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"Okay," said Porter. "That is from a TransDigm exhibit. You don't need to see it, but that is from an exhibit in this investigation. That is your salespeople talking about a deal that they had just made with the military for jet engine parts in 2018. 'We don't have to give up a dime.' Your salesperson said, 'I'm just full of B.S., and they [being the D.O.D. and taxpayers] took the bait.' Mr. Howley, does TransDigm have a code of business ethics and conduct?"

"Oh, as any company does," said Howley. "Of course we do. It's on our website."

"Okay, does that code require fair dealing?" asked Porter.

"Yes," said Howley. "And it says what it says, but of course it requires fair dealing."

"Do you think it's fair dealing to be full of bull sh*t and get the taxpayers to take the bait?" asked Porter.

"I don't have a comment on that," said Howley. "I'm not familiar with that situation. I don't know what it is. I don't know who the person is. I don't know them. I just can't comment on it."

"Mr. Howley, will you find out who that person is?" asked Porter.

"I presume you have it," said Howley after a slight pause. "You have an email. I presume you have it. I don't know who it is."

"Mr. Howley, as Executive Chair of the board, being paid $68 million when a typical board member of a Fortune 100 company receives $319,000 — I mean, here is the typical board member of a Fortune 100 company. See this flat line? You can't even see it. Here's you. For $68 million, you need to enforce your company's code of business ethics."

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