The bond rating agency Standard & Poor's Friday downgraded U.S. debt from its current triple-A rate to AA+, a move an administration official called "amateur."
Citing government officials it did not identify, ABC had reported earlier Friday the administration was preparing for such a move. One official said the downgrade would be based in part on confusion associated with the way Congress handled legislation to raise the limit on federal borrowing and a lack of confidence that further deficit reduction can be achieved under the current U.S. political system.
Citing another source it did not identify, ABC said another reason for the move was be the Republicans' refusal to allow a deficit reduction deal to include new revenues.
However, another government official said the White House had told S&P the company's thinking was "based on flawed math and assumptions." And S&P acknowledged "its numbers are wrong."
An administration official told NBC News after the credit rating was lowered, "It's amateur hour at S&P."
The official said the administration showed S&P where its computation errors occurred.
Moody's Investor Services and Fitch Ratings both said Tuesday they will keep the country's credit rating at triple-A for now, but they said a downgrade is still possible if the U.S. financial situation deteriorates or if promised federal spending cuts don't materialize.
The two credit ratings firms issued their assessments after President Barack Obama signed into law compromise legislation passed by Congress to raise the nation's debt limit and cut its budget deficit.
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