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National Security leaders from both parties are urging President Trump to allow the transition to begin in order to head off another 9/11. Above: Biden watches a live feed of the raid that lead to the killing of Osama bin Laden.

National security veterans warn of transition delay as Trump digs back in

An all-star cast of national security officials from Republican and Democratic administrations on Monday pulled out what they hope will be the "Trump card" that compels the incumbent president to concede the election and permit his successor to start receiving intelligence briefings and build his team of experts.

Their ace-in-the-hole argument: Remember Sept. 11.

But the pleas from the likes of two former secretaries of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano and Michael Chertoff, continued to fall on deaf ears. On the 10th day since election results made it clear he had lost, President Trump was back on Twitter claiming "I won the Election."

Amid his flurry of six tweets pressing various conspiracy theories, Trump's lawyers appeared to abandon their only legal argument involving enough votes to potentially upend the outcome in one of the states decisive in his defeat. In this case, Pennsylvania.

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The election went remarkably well. Here's how to make the next one even better.

We haven't yet seen evidence that would cast doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election — even with the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic, the threat of foreign interference, civil unrest and greater turnout than any time since 1900. That counts as a resounding success.

Once the final tallies are certified, we need to thank the election administrators and poll workers whose heroic efforts preserved American democracy. After that, we need to assess what worked best and what needs to improve, so we can identify achievable steps to make future elections even more secure.

Based on what we know so far, here are five things that should be on the U.S. elections to-do list:

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Balance of Power
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President Trump's visit to Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day was his first public appearance since losing re-election.

Trump administration hails most secure election ever, further undercutting him

The wall of official resistance to President Trump's defeat has started to crumble a bit.

A bipartisan collection of federal and state election officials, empaneled by the Trump administration itself, declared Thursday night that this year's election "was the most secure in American history." That statement flatly contradicts Trump's assertions, still being made without any credible evidence, that he's being robbed of a second term by vote fraud.

Earlier in the day, several prominent Republican voices urged the president to change course and accept his loss. They were as varied as Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio, polling icon Karl Rove, the newspaper run by the family of megadonor Sheldon Adelson and the party's longest-serving senator, Chuck Grassley of Iowa.

By Friday afternoon, though, six full days had elapsed since election returns made clear that Joe Biden is president-elect — and Trump had neither said nor done anything to uphold one of the remaining unsullied and proud traditions of American democracy: Defeated incumbents right away recognize the will of the people, congratulate the winner and begin facilitating an orderly transfer of power.

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FBI and DHS warn of foreign misinformation on election results

What worked: strategies to mitigate foreign election interference

Election Dissection spoke with David Levine, elections integrity fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy. Levine has been tracking foreign attempts to interfere with U.S. voting this year, but he also knows a lot about the mechanics of running elections in the U.S. He's managed elections in Boise, Idaho, Richmond, Virginia and Washington, DC.

What can we say about foreign interference in the 2020 election, so far?

There aren't any indications foreign adversaries were able to interfere with the election infrastructure to affect vote tallies, change results or alter any voter data. In one instance, Iran was able to take non-public voter data, but there's no evidence the data was altered. The interference hasn't affected the outcome, and that's really important.

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