President Trump and Vice President Pence walk through the cross hall as they arrive for the “American Leadership in Emerging Technology” event in the East Room of the White House on June 22. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Trump on Saturday lashed out at the more than two dozen states that have objected to a presidential commission's sweeping request for voter data, accusing them of circumventing public scrutiny over potential voter fraud.

Trump's tweet, issued a day after he arrived at his Bedminster estate in New Jersey for a three-night stay, highlighted the political stakes over his effort to validate his widespread claims of rampant illegal voting through the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which is being led by Vice President Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R). Trump, who lost the popular vote to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, has claimed that millions of immigrants living in the country illegally cast votes for her.

The White House has said the commission will embark upon a “thorough review of registration and voting issues in federal elections,” but experts and voting rights advocates have pilloried Trump for his claims of widespread fraud, which studies and state officials alike have not found. They say that they fear the commission will be used to restrict voting.

Those worries intensified this week after the commission sent letters to 50 states and the District on Wednesday asking for a trove of information, including names, dates of birth, voting histories and, if possible, party identifications. The letters also asked for evidence of voter fraud, convictions for election-related crimes and recommendations for preventing voter intimidation — all within 16 days.

While the Trump administration has said it is just requesting public information, the letters met with swift — and sometimes defiant — rejection. By Saturday, 25 states were partially or entirely refusing to provide the requested information; some said state laws prohibit releasing certain details about voters, while others refused to provide any information because of the commission’s makeup and backstory.

“This entire commission is based on the specious and false notion that there was widespread voter fraud last November,” Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) said in a statement. “At best this commission was set up as a pretext to validate Donald Trump’s alternative election facts, and at worst is a tool to commit large-scale voter suppression.”

On Aug. 1, a federal judge declined to block the president's voter fraud commission from collecting voter data. A lawsuit attempting to block the collection of voter data could now go to a federal appeals court. (Patrick Martin/The Washington Post)

California, a state Trump singled out for “serious voter fraud,” also refused to participate. Alex Padilla, the California secretary of state, said providing data “would only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud.”

The Post's Michelle Ye Hee Lee explains why White House press secretary Sean Spicer's claims on Jan. 24 about voter fraud in the presidential election don't add up. (Bastien Inzaurralde/The Washington Post)

A spokesman for Pence defended the letters requesting voter data, noting they seek information that is available publicly under state laws.

“The commission very clearly is requesting publicly available data in accordance with each state’s laws in an effort to increase the integrity of our election system,” Jarrod Agen, the spokesman, said in a statement. “The commission’s goal is to protect and preserve the principle of one person, one vote because the integrity of the vote is the foundation of our democracy.”