Why did Trump allegedly tell both Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal they remind him of his daughter?

Donald Trump’s alleged extramarital affairs before he became president have been big news recently, and there’s one common thread in both allegations: The now-president reportedly told women he wanted to sleep with that they reminded him of his daughter.

First, CNN aired an interview with Karen McDougal, a former Playbοy model who claims that she had a 10-month affair with Trump in 2006. During that time, McDougal says Trump compared her with his daughter, Ivanka Trump. “He’s very proud of Ivanka, as he should be,” McDougal told Anderson Cooper in the interview. “She’s a brilliant woman, she’s beautiful, you know, that’s his daughter and he should be proud of her. He said I was beautiful like her and, you know, ‘you’re a smart girl.’ There wasn’t a lot of comparing, but there was some. I heard a lot about her.”

Ivanka Trump speaks next to her father, President Trump, following a tour of the H&K Equipment Company in Coraopolis, Pa., in January. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump speaks next to her father, President Trump, following a tour of the H&K Equipment Company in Coraopolis, Pa., in January. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Then in an interview Sunday on “60 Minutes,” adult film star Stormy Daniels, who says she also had an affair with Trump in 2006, said he also compared her to his daughter. “He was like, ‘Wow, you — you are special. You remind me of my daughter.’ You know — he was like, ‘You’re smart and beautiful, and a woman to be reckoned with, and I like you. I like you.’”

People had plenty of thoughts about that on Twitter.

This isn’t the first time Trump has made questionable comments about his eldest daughter. In a 2006 interview on The View, he pointed out that Ivanka “does have a very nice figure,” before adding, “I’ve said that if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps, I would be dating her.”

While this may just be an odd pickup line, actually being attracted to people who remind you of your child is not normal, licensed clinical psychologist John Mayer, PhD, author of Family Fit: Find Your Balance in Life, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. Instead, it’s typical of narcissistic personality disorder, a diagnosable mental illness, Mayer says. Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, troubled relationships, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, and a lack of empathy for others, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Someone with the condition identifies with loved ones who are already in their world and feed into their narcissism, Mayer says. “It is the insular nature of the narcissistic disorder,” he adds. A child is raised and trained to associate with the thoughts of their parents, and they’re taught to do the things that their parents prefer. If one is a narcissist, they may feel attracted on some level to their child or children because they meet the standards that the narcissist prefers, Mayer explains.

It’s often said that people usually end up with a partner who reminds them of their mother or father on some level, but this is totally different, Mayer says. A mom or dad hasn’t been “groomed” by you to behave a certain way, he explains.

Psychiatrist and author Gail Saltz, MD, adds more context telling Yahoo Lifestyle, “We seek what we love and find familiar in a positive way. But it’s often out of our awareness, because the feeling that it is about your child, or incestuous, is usually anxiety-provoking and therefore not acknowledged.”

Trump’s alleged degree of comfort in being so open about being attracted to someone who reminds him of his daughter is what’s really unusual. Saltz says, “For many people that would be very uncomfortable to acknowledge to themselves, let alone another person.”

Ultimately, Mayer agrees with the general public: It’s gross. “But more than gross, it contributes and feeds into the proliferation of the narcissistic personality disorder illness,” he says. Of course, that’s only one opinion — and maybe it is just coincidence that Trump made similar statements to both women. But then again, maybe it’s not.

Trump has not responded publicly to allegations from either interview.

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