Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump dismissed questions from the media comparing his supporters' pledges to vote for him to the Nazi salute. At a rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Trump spoke about his recent campaign event, explaining that he had directed his supporters to raise their right hand and pledge to vote for him.

"So I said, 'if you really love Trump raise your right hand', and they raised their hand. I said 'Do you swear that you're going to vote for Trump?' and they are all laughing and having fun, and they swore, and that was the end of that," he said.

The Nazi salute, used during Adolf Hitler's reign, consisted of raising the right arm with the palm of the hand facing down.

"We got a call like two nights later - 'does that have anything to do with Nazi Germany?' I said, 'Are these people crazy?' And then they had it on the Today Show, and actually a very good, actually a liberal reporter, said to me today, 'That was the most disgusting thing I've ever seen as a journalist when they tried to make that look like that.' So, I just want to tell you folks, I love you. I probably won't ask you to pledge that you'll vote for me because they'll say that it was a horrible thing," Trump told supporters.

Trump remains the front-runner for Republicans in the presidential race. He has 446 delegates, with Senator Ted Cruz of Texas second with 347 delegates, according to the New York Times.

North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Missouri and Illinois will hold their primaries on 15 March.