Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called allegations that Judge Roy Moore initiated a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl while in his 30s are "serious and troubling" and that he should withdraw from the race immediately if they are true.

"These are serious and troubling allegations," Cruz said in a statement. "If they are true, Judge Moore should immediately withdraw. However, we need to know the truth, and Judge Moore has the right to respond to these accusations."

Cruz is one of five Republican senators to endorse Moore's campaign for the Senate seat after he defeated Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., in September. The others are Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas; Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky.; Mike Lee, R-Utah; and Steve Daines, R-Mont.

Moore denied the allegations that were reported by the Washington Post earlier Thursday and ignited a firestorm. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., also said Moore should withdraw if the accusations are accurate.

Moore is set to face off against Democrat Doug Jones on Dec. 12, with the winner filling the remainder of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' term.