WASHINGTON, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence said evidence implicates Russia in recent email hacks tied to the U.S. election, contradicting his running mate, Donald Trump, who cast doubt on Russia's involvement.
Pence said in an interview aired on "Fox News Sunday" that Russia or any other country involved in hacking should face "severe consequences." The disagreement with Trump, the Republican nominee for the Nov. 8 election, came after the pair also publicly disagreed about U.S. policy toward Russia in Syria.
U.S. intelligence officials believe Russia is behind recent email hacks targeting Democratic Party officials, including the continuing dumps by Wikileaks of documents stolen from the email account of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta.
"I think there's no question that the evidence continues to point in that direction," Pence said. "There should be severe consequences to Russia or any sovereign nation that is compromising the privacy or the security of the United States of America."
Donald Trump and Mike Pence on the campaign trail since the RNC:
Donald Trump and Mike Pence on the campaign trail since the RNC
Donald Trump and Mike Pence on the campaign trail since the RNC
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump arrives for a rally at Duplin County Events Center in Kenansville, North Carolina on September 20, 2016. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
ESTERO, FL - SEPTEMBER 19: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Germain Arena on September 19, 2016 in Estero, Florida. Trump is locked in a tight race against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in Florida as the November 8th election nears. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the JetCenters of Colorado in Colorado Springs, Colorado on September 17, 2016. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0534 -- Pictured: (l-r) Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on September 15, 2016 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at the Bethel United Methedoist Church on September 14, 2016 in Flint, Michigan. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
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CHARLOTTE, NC - JULY 26: Republican vice presidential candidate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence speaks as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump looks on at the 117th National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States as veterans strive for a photo at the Charlotte Convention Center on July 26, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. One day after Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton faced the same group, Trump promised a revision to health care for veterans. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)
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In another interview on NBC's "Meet the Press," Pence said "there's more and more evidence that implicates Russia,."
Russian President Vladimir Putin this week said his country was not involved in trying to influence the U.S. election.
Trump, who has been criticized for appearing too close to Russia after he publicly praised Putin's strength, has questioned the reports of Moscow's involvement. During last week's second debate with Clinton he said, "Maybe there is no hacking."
Trump also broke with Pence during that debate on their foreign policy stance toward Russia. Pence had recently said the United States should use military force in Syria if Russia continued airstrikes to prop up President Bashar al-Assad, but Trump said he disagreed with that stance.
Trump this week has said the election is being "rigged" against him by the Clinton campaign and the media, raising questions about whether he would challenge the outcome should he lose to Clinton.
Pence said on "Face the Nation" Republicans would accept the result.
"We'll respect the outcome of this election," he said. "Donald Trump said in the first debate that we'll respect the will of the American people in this election. The peaceful transfer of power is a hallmark of American history."