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Trump threatens to ‘spill the beans’ on Ted Cruz’s wife after ‘slut-shaming’ ad

‘Donald, you’re a sniveling coward and leave Heidi the hell alone’: Cruz fires back at Trump
WATCH ABOVE: ‘Donald, you’re a sniveling coward and leave Heidi the hell alone’: Cruz fires back at Trump

WARNING: This article contains sexually explicit images.

The war of words between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz escalated Tuesday after an anti-Trump Super PAC released an ad that some have criticized as “slut-shaming” Trump’s wife.

Trump tweeted the Canadian-born Cruz should “be careful” or he would “spill the beans on your wife” Heidi Cruz after Make America Awesome, a conservative anti-Trump Super PAC not affiliated with Cruz, released the ad.

“Lyin’ Ted Cruz just used a picture of Melania from a G.Q. shoot in his ad. Be careful, Lyin’ Ted, or I will spill the beans on your wife!” Trump tweeted as the polls closed in the Arizona primary Tuesday evening. A similar version of the Tweet was tweeted and deleted roughly 10 minutes earlier.

WATCH: Cruz fires back at Trump for ‘spill the beans’ comments

Ted Cruz calls threat against wife from Donald Trump a ‘new low’
Ted Cruz calls threat against wife from Donald Trump a ‘new low’

It is unclear what “spill the beans” might mean.

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The ad featured an nude photo of Melania Trump from a 2000 GQ spread with the caption, “Meet Melania Trump. Your Next First Lady. Or you could support Ted Cruz on Tuesday” and was meant to target Mormons in Utah ahead of Tuesday’s primary.

Several media outlets were quick to criticize the ad as form of “slut-shaming.”

Cruz responded on Twitter by saying that the ad was not from him and if he went after his wife, then Trump is a “coward.”

“Pic of your wife not from us. Donald, if you try to attack Heidi, you’re more of a coward than I thought. #classless,” Cruz tweeted.

WATCH: Republican front runner Donald Trump retaliated at Ted Cruz on Wednesday night, posting a tweet attacking the appearance of the Texas senator’s wife.

Trump gets ugly with tweet targeting Ted Cruz’s wife’s appearance
Trump gets ugly with tweet targeting Ted Cruz’s wife’s appearance

Heidi Cruz, a senior executive for Goldman Sachs who took time off to work on her husband’s campaign, shot back at Trump on Wednesday.

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READ MORE: Clinton, Trump pad leads with Arizona victories

“Well, as you probably know by now, most of the things, many of the things others say are not based in reality,” Heidi Cruz  told a small group of reporters. “I have one job on this campaign, and it is to be helping Ted win this race. And it is, I think, the easiest job in the world, and that is to speak the truth: what I know about my husband, our family, myself.”

Liz Mair, a Republican strategist and head of Make America Awesome, told Vox media in an email she rejected the use of the word “slut” and the idea she was “slut-shaming” Melania Trump.

“The fact is, the image in the ad — for which Melania Trump apparently willingly posed and has long been widely available online — isn’t objectionable because she’s nude or because it implies she’s ‘promiscuous’ (which, by the way, it doesn’t, though it does suggest she may have bigger hands than Donald),” Mair said.

READ MORE: Trump faces challenge in Utah vote but could net delegates

This is not the first time candidates’ wives have been targeted during the Republican presidential nomination campaign.

In July, Trump went after former GOP contender Jeb Bush’s wife, Columba, retweeting a follower that said Bush must “like the Mexican Illegals,” an apparent reference to Columba Bush who is a Mexican immigrant. Trump said he did not authorize the retweet and it was later deleted.

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