Fact-Checking the Claim: Did Trump Really Ask This Disturbing Question About His Daughter in 1995?


In 1994 or 1995, Donald Trump said of his 13-year-old daughter Ivanka, “Is it wrong to be more sexually attracted to your own daughter than your wife?”


On April 10, 2024, a user on X posted a meme showing a photo of Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka. The meme read, “In 1993, Trump asked, ‘Is it wrong to be more sexually attracted to your own daughter than your wife?’ At the time, Ivanka was 13 years old.”

We first traced this quote to the 2020 book “Trump: The Chosen One: Road to Perdition.” The book referenced as its source an article published by Cosmopolitan on Nov. 22, 2016. The Cosmopolitan article cited original reporting from BuzzFeed News.

According to the BuzzFeed News article — which also was published on Nov. 22, 2016 — the supposed Trump quote appeared only in an early, unpublished draft of an opinion column from The Washington Post. The early draft was sent to outlets that would syndicate the story, BuzzFeed News said. The reporting from BuzzFeed News did not say its journalists personally reviewed the unpublished draft. Rather, it cited one unnamed source as its evidence.

Snopes contacted editors for the Post, the writer of the BuzzFeed News article and Trump’s 2024 reelection campaign to inquire about the truth of this matter. This story will be updated should we receive any further details.

The Origins of the Quote

The opinion column from the Post was titled, “Our next president, the Godfather” and was written by Richard Cohen, who worked for the Post from 1968 to 2019. Hours after outlets reportedly received the early draft, the column was published without the quote on the night of Nov. 21, 2016.

The BuzzFeed News story, citing its one unnamed source, said one of the early drafts of Cohen’s Post column included the following paragraph:

Jared Kushner, our Tom Hagen, who married Trump’s stunning daughter Ivanka — “Can I ask you something?” Trump asked someone I know, about his then-13-year-old kid, “Is it wrong to be more sexually attracted to your own daughter than your wife?” — has lately lost some of this Boy Scout aura. It turns out Kushner’s admission to Harvard was preceded by his father’s $2.5 million pledge.

The following text appears in the published version of the story on the Post’s website, minus the quote reportedly included in an earlier draft:

Jared Kushner, our Tom Hagen, who married Trump’s daughter Ivanka, has lately lost some of this Boy Scout aura. It turns out Kushner’s admission to Harvard was preceded by his father’s $2.5 million pledge.

Some online memes and posts wrongly claimed the Post’s reporting said Trump had spoken the remark directly to Cohen, while other users included a year for Ivanka that did not line up with when she was 13 years old.

To be clear, the purported early draft of the Post column said Trump had asked the question to an unnamed person with whom Cohen was familiar. Also, Ivanka was born on Oct. 30, 1981. She turned 13 on Oct. 30, 1994, and the remark was then said to have been spoken by Trump in either 1994 or 1995, not 1993 as the meme claimed. In 1994 and 1995, Trump was early in his second marriage with Marla Maples.

After publishing its story about the quote, BuzzFeed News received a statement from Fred Hiatt, who at the time was the Post’s editorial page editor.

“We (or the Washington Post Writers Group, our affiliated syndicate) edit every column to try to make it as good as it can be,” Hiatt told BuzzFeed News. “We don’t think it would be fair to our writers to discuss the editing process, and don’t see what is to be gained by talking about things that are not published — there are countless drafts that never see the light of day.”

Other ‘Questionable’ Remarks About Ivanka Trump

Going back to Cosmopolitan’s 2016 article, the reporting noted the remark referenced by BuzzFeed News wasn’t “the first time Trump’s questionable references to his daughter have surfaced.”

“He said on the Howard Stern Show in 2003 that ‘she’s got the best body,'” Cosmopolitan wrote. “The next year, he was back on Stern agreeing with the radio host that she was ‘A piece of a**.’ He also admitted on ‘The View’ that, ‘I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.'”

These remarks and others were previously included in a compilation of comments posted in a YouTube video by New York Magazine.


It’s possible Trump may have made the remark about being more sexually attracted to his young daughter Ivanka than his wife, considering the fact video and audio exist of him making other similar comments. For example, after Trump made a remark on “The View” in 2006 saying he’d date Ivanka if she wasn’t his daughter, a Trump representative later told The Associated Press that Trump “was absolutely joking. He was making fun of himself for his tendency to date younger women. It’s a sense of humor that people don’t see [from him] all the time.”

Without further evidence, we haven’t yet been able to definitively confirm the veracity of the quote published by BuzzFeed News. A rating of “Unproven” has been selected for this fact check. This rating does not mean the rumor is true or false. Rather, it simply means we weren’t yet able to find and independently review enough evidence to make a more firm determination.

For further reading, we previously reported more details about the Trump remark about considering dating his daughter and the rumor he once admitted to going into changing rooms of beauty pageant contestants. We also published a story in 2019 about a claim regarding the same “sexually attracted to your own daughter” quote.


Cohen, Richard. “Opinion | Our next President, the Godfather.” Washington Post, 12 Apr. 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/our-next-president-the-godfather/2016/11/21/c5040e82-b012-11e6-8616-52b15787add0_story.html.

“Donald Trump.” Britannica, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Donald-Trump.

Evon, Dan. “Did Donald Trump Say He’d Like to Date His Daughter?” Snopes, 10 July 2015, https://www.snopes.com//fact-check/donald-trump-date-daughter/.

Fine, Bruce, and Hank Lewin. Trump: The Chosen One: Road to Perdition. Gatekeeper Press, 2020.

Griffin, Tamerra. “Draft Washington Post Column Claimed Trump Said He Was ‘Sexually Attracted’ To His Teenage Daughter.” BuzzFeed News, 22 Nov. 2016, https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/tamerragriffin/trump-asked-if-its-wrong-to-be-attracted-to-his-daughter.

“Gross Things Donald Trump Has Said About His Daughters.” YouTube, New York Magazine, 13 May 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EPEkk6qWkg.

Ibrahim, Nur. “Did Trump Admit Going Into Changing Room of Beauty Pageant Contestants?” Snopes, 26 Mar. 2024, https://www.snopes.com//news/2024/03/26/trump-pageant-dressing-rooms/.

Jung, Helin. “Donald Trump Once Allegedly Asked If It Was ‘Wrong’ to Be ‘Sexually Attracted’ to Ivanka.” Cosmopolitan, 22 Nov. 2016, https://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/a8353161/donald-trump-sexual-attraction-ivanka-trump/.

Kasprak, Alex. “Did Donald Trump Say 2 Lovers Reminded Him of Daughter Ivanka?” Snopes, 16 July 2019, https://www.snopes.com//news/2019/07/16/trump-mcdougal-stormy-ivanka/.

“Richard Cohen.” The Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/people/richard-cohen/.

Schudel, Matt. “Fred Hiatt, Washington Post Editorial Page Editor, Dies at 66.” The Washington Post, 6 Dec. 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/obituaries/2021/12/06/fred-hiatt-dies/.

“Trump Jokes That He’d Date Daughter.” TODAY.com via The Associated Press, 7 Mar. 2006, https://www.today.com/popculture/trump-jokes-he-d-date-daughter-wbna11714379.

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