Asked if Trump ever said he loved her, McDougal said, " All the time. He always told me he loved me."
When asked if she thought this would lead to a marriage, McDougal said, "Maybe."
The White House has said that Trump denies having an affair with McDougal.
It was her first interview since suing American Media Inc, which owns The National Enquirer, earlier this week to be released from an agreement giving it exclusive rights to her story about the alleged affair.
New Yorker magazine reported in February that Trump had an affair with McDougal at the same time he was in a relationship with a porn star and the National Enquirer tabloid paid the model $150,000 to prevent her story being made public.
McDougal told CNN she was speaking publicly because, "I want to share my story because everybody else is talking about it."
She said she met Trump at the Playboy Mansion during filming of "Celebrity Apprentice," a TV series in which he starred. "I was attracted to him. He's a nice looking man. I liked his charisma," she said.
McDougal said their first sexual encounter was at his bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel and that afterwards he offered her money.
"After we had been intimate, he tried to pay me, and I actually didn't know how to take that," McDougal said. "I looked at him and I said,'That's not me. I'm not that kind of girl.'"
She said she met Trump at his golf courses in California and New Jersey and went with him to his family apartment at Trump Tower in New York City, going through a back entrance.
McDougal said they also spent time at a resort at Lake Tahoe in California, where adult film actress Stormy Daniels has said she met Trump. Daniels claims that she had an affair with Trump.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, sued the president on March 6, stating that Trump never signed an agreement for her to keep quiet about an "intimate" relationship between them. Daniels received $130,000 under that agreement.
McDougal said she broke up with Trump in April 2017.
Asked what she would say to Melania, McDougal told CNN, "I'm sorry. I wouldn't want it done to me."
McDougal filed suit in California on Tuesday seeking release from the agreement requiring her to stay silent.
In the lawsuit, she said, "I just want the opportunity to set the record straight and move on with my life, free from this company, its executives, and its lawyers."
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)