Trump warned NATO allies U.S. would go it alone if they did not spend: sources

U.S. President Donald Trump gestures as he holds a news conference after participating in the NATO Summit in Brussels, Belgium July 12, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump told NATO allies in a closed-door meeting on Thursday that governments needed to raise spending to 2 percent of economic output by January next year or the United States would go its own way, two people familiar with the discussions told Reuters.

The ultimatum was delivered in a session at the NATO summit, the sources said. “He said they must raise spending by January 2019 or the United States would go it alone,” one person said.

However, he did not directly threaten to withdraw formally from NATO, the people said.

Reporting by Robin Emmott and Sabine Siebold; Editing by Alissa de Carbonnel