Opinion writer

* Seung Min Kim reports that members of Congress from Trump’s own party are acting like his promises to North Korea are ridiculous and can’t possibly be true:

One of President Trump’s more controversial pledges at his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un — that the United States would halt joint military exercises on the Korean Peninsula — touched off confusion on Capitol Hill as an influential GOP senator asserted the exercises would nonetheless continue.

That was apparently the message delivered by Vice President Pence to Senate Republicans during a private lunch earlier Tuesday, according to Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) — although that was immediately disputed by Pence’s office.

“I think what the vice president said today — and we’ll continue to clarify what the president had talked about — exercises will continue with South Korea,” Gardner said during a news conference with other GOP leaders. “I look forward to further comment and clarification from the president when he gets here.”

Everything is running as smoothly as usual.

* Matthew Daly reports that Trump own administration is saying his plan to force utilities to buy coal is unnecessary:

Federal regulators on Tuesday disputed the Trump administration’s claim that struggles facing the coal and nuclear industries threaten the reliability of the nation’s power grid.

“There is no immediate calamity or threat,” the Republican chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission told Congress. Existing power sources are sufficient to satisfy the nation’s energy needs, FERC Chairman Kevin McIntyre added.

Four other commissioners from both parties agreed there is no immediate threat to the grid. The comments before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee contradict a recent White House directive ordering action to keep coal-fired and nuclear power plants open as a matter of national and economic security.

You can tell they’re just liberal plants because they didn’t refer to “beautiful clean coal” every time they said “coal.”

* Jennifer Rubin explains how today’s summit was a big victory for Kim and a big loss for Trump.

* Harry Enten looks at the Senate races in swing states, and explains how they show why this is likely to be a good Democratic year.

* Jonathan Cohn examines the congressional candidacy of former Clinton cabinet official Donna Shalala to explore what it means to be a progressive in 2018.

* Ron Brownstein has an interesting look at the ways in which we may be even more divided than we thought.

* Jamil Smith explains how the Supreme Court decision upholding Ohio’s voter purge shows the slow, hidden ways democracies erode right before our eyes.

* George Conway eviscerates President Trump’s claim that Robert Mueller’s investigation is unconstitutional. By the way, this George Conway is Kellyanne Conway’s husband.

* John Stoehr argues that Democrats need to start advocating mandatory voting.

* Judd Legum has the background on Keith Davidson, the lawyer at the center (with Michael Cohen) of all your favorite paramour payoffs.

* Olga Khazan explores why being black in America can be hazardous to your health.

* Griffin Connolly has details on the brutal yard waste dispute that led Rand Paul’s neighbor to tackle him and break his ribs.

* Dorothy Samuels says we shouldn’t give in to the impulse to punish judges at the ballot box for rulings we don’t like.

* And Helaine Olen explains Scott Pruitt: He’s a middle-class striver trying to keep up in a rich man’s administration.