Donald Trump, the former would-be Republican presidential nominee, has joined the chorus of prominent figures who are savaging Standard & Poor’s for downgrading the U.S. government’s long-term credit rating.

Trump believes the whole thing is a “publicity stunt” by S&P.

"I can just see these guys sitting in their little office on Wall St. or wherever they are, saying 'we're going to take down the United States!,” he told Fox television.

“Because they want the publicity, because the want to restore their reputation [from the housing and mortgage crisis]. They love it."

Repeating that he is no fan of Barack Obama, he insisted the downgrade was not called for.

He also attacked S&P for “doing a terrible call” with respect to mortgage securities ratings at the onset of the global financial crisis; he also described John Chambers, chairman of Standard & Poor's sovereign debt committee, as an “arrogant guy.”