Skeletal mesh component is not compatilbe with skeletal mesh reference?

why is this giving me an error? is it a bug? they are both the same type
Annotation 2021-10-06 000724

Not a bug and no, they’re not the same.

The component is what you have in the component hierarchy, and that components holds onto the object.

To expand on what Everynone said, the component is just a wrapper for the skeletal mesh object. The component wrapper can attach to an actor and do other component-y things and holds a reference to the skeletal mesh itself (another object with mesh and skeleton information).

Same kind of thing with Static Mesh and Static Mesh Component.