On the heels of the Fitch report yesterday, the evidence is clear – this is a Trump downgrade. As Fitch noted, the downgrade is a consequence of Republicans’ repeated pushes toward a default as well as the January 6 insurrection. As public reporting has noted, the Fitch ratings model declined under President Trump, and made strong progress since President Biden was inaugurated.

Here’s what they’re saying:

Forbes: Fitch Says Jan. 6 Riot Impacted Decision To Downgrade U.S. Credit Rating

[Ty Roush, 8/2/23]

“TOPLINE Rating agency Fitch decided to downgrade the U.S.’s long-term credit rating from AAA to AA+ in part because the January 6 riot highlighted a deterioration in governance and polarization, agency officials told Reuters, after the firm said it expected fiscal deterioration over the next three years amid growing debt and ‘erosion of governance.’”

Business Insider: Fitch official confirms that January 6 Capitol riot was partially behind its controversial US downgrade

[Brent D. Griffiths, 8/2/23]

“A top official with Fitch Ratings on Wednesday confirmed reports that the agency issued its controversial downgrade of US credit due in part to the violent January 6 Capitol riot. ‘It was something that we highlighted because it just is a reflection of the deterioration in governance, it’s one of many,’ Richard Francis, a senior director at Fitch Ratings, told Reuters of the agency’s conversations with the Treasury Department. Francis’ comments confirm multiple reports that Fitch officials brought up the riot with Biden administration officials before announcing their surprise downgrade on Tuesday evening.” 

CNN: Fitch downgrades US debt on debt ceiling drama and Jan. 6 insurrection

[Elisabeth Buchwald, 8/1/23]

“Fitch Ratings downgraded its US debt rating on Tuesday from the highest AAA rating to AA+, citing “a steady deterioration in standards of governance. …In a meeting with Biden administration officials, representatives from Fitch Ratings repeatedly highlighted the January 6th insurrection as a significant concern as it relates to US governance, a person familiar with the matter told CNN. The credit agency did not mention the insurrection in their full report on the downgrade.”

NBC News: White House blames GOP after Fitch downgrades U.S. credit rating

[Megan Lebowitz, 8/2/23]

“Fitch Ratings Agency downgraded the U.S. debt rating from AAA to AA+ after a congressional standoff this year threatened a debt default. Fitch also pointed to the Jan. 6 riot as a reason for the downgrade. …‘This Trump downgrade is a direct result of an extreme MAGA Republican agenda defined by chaos, callousness, and recklessness that Americans continue to reject,’ Kevin Munoz, a spokesperson for the Biden campaign, said in a statement. ‘Donald Trump oversaw the loss of millions of American jobs, and ballooned the deficit with the disastrous tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations.’ Munoz also noted that Trump had urged Republicans to let the U.S. default on its debt amid an impasse with Democrats this year over spending cuts.”

Reuters: Fitch highlighted Jan. 6 insurrection with Treasury ahead of US downgrade

[Davide Barbuscia, 8/2/23]

“NEW YORK, Aug 2 (Reuters) – Fitch downgraded the U.S. credit rating due to fiscal concerns, a deterioration in U.S governance, as well as political polarization reflected partly by the Jan. 6 insurrection, Richard Francis, a senior director at Fitch Ratings, told Reuters on Wednesday. …That deterioration, as well as increased polarization in the country’s political climate, was visible in the Jan. 6 insurrection, which the agency highlighted in meetings with the Treasury ahead of the downgrade. ‘It was something that we highlighted because it just is a reflection of the deterioration in governance, it’s one of many,’ he said.”

Politico: Fitch triggers new Jan. 6 political battle with U.S. rating cut

[SAM SUTTON and VICTORIA GUIDA, 8/2/23]

“The latest U.S. credit downgrade is giving the White House a new reason to denounce Republicans for the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection — just as former President Donald Trump faces charges related to the assault. In an announcement that hit almost simultaneously with Trump’s indictment, Fitch Ratings on Tuesday said it lowered the U.S. debt rating by a notch in part because of an ‘erosion of governance.’ The Biden administration blasted the decision as off-base but focused blame on Republicans because of concerns Fitch has raised about Jan. 6.”

The Hill: Fitch cites Jan. 6 riot in US credit downgrade

[TOBIAS BURNS, 8/2/23]

“U.S. political instability reflected in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol was a factor in the downgrading of U.S. debt by Fitch, an official for the ratings agency told Reuters. ”

USA Today: ‘Defies reality’: Biden White House goes on attack to discredit Fitch’s US downgrade

[Joey Garrison, 8/2/23]

“WASHINGTON − The Biden administration lashed out at at Fitch Ratings’ decision to downgrade the nation’s credit rating, arguing it doesn’t reflect improved economic metrics and that the move was based partially on political polarization stemming from the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. …Richard Francis, a senior director at Fitch Ratings, confirmed that Fitch highlighted the polarization on display during the Jan. 6 insurrection in discussions with Treasury officials, according to Reuters.”

The Telegraph: Fitch blames pro-Trump Capitol riots for US credit downgrade 

[Telegraph Markets Staff, 8/2/23]

“The Capitol riots where Donald Trump supporters stormed the seat of US democracy were among the reasons that Fitch downgraded the US’s credit rating. …He said that deterioration was reflected in the January 6 insurrection, which the agency highlighted in discussions with the Treasury. Fitch held meetings with Treasury ahead of the downgrade. Mr Francis told Reuters: ‘It was something that we highlighted because it just is a reflection of the deterioration in governance, it’s one of many.’ ‘You have the debt ceiling, you have January 6.’” 

Tweets: 

@Atrupar: here’s the Fitch co-head on CNBS citing January 6 and “debt brinkmanship” as reasons US debt was downgraded [WATCH]

@Carlquintanilla: * EXCLUSIVE – FITCH DIRECTOR SAYS JANUARY 6 INSURRECTION WAS HIGHLIGHTED IN DISCUSSIONS WITH TREASURY AS IT REFLECTS DETERIORATION IN GOVERNANCE, POLARIZATION

@PhilipWegmann: On the Fitch downgrading US long term rating, a source points out that “their own graph has the U.S. dipping from AAA to AA+ under Trump, then continually moving upward toward AAA territory again once Biden took office.” [IMAGE]

@TheHill: U.S. political instability reflected in the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the Capitol was a factor in the downgrading of U.S. debt by Fitch. [LINK]

@InsiderPolitics: Fitch official confirms that January 6 Capitol riot was partially behind its controversial US downgrade [LINK]

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