"We can't do anything about that in the short term", he told reporters Wednesday.
When all is said and done, the amount of assistance required by Texas could top $100 billion.
Trump was roundly criticized in the days following the hurricane for emphasizing Puerto Rico's weak infrastructure and blaming ineffective leadership for delays in delivering badly needed aid to the island.
Media personality Areva Martin said that what Trump did to victims of the natural disaster made her "nauseous".
"I think what you heard the president say is that Puerto Rico is going to have to figure out a way to solve its debt problem", he said.
Here's how CNN portrayed the president's line of thinking. And what is your death count at this point, 17? Trump asked for the official death toll in Puerto Rico, guessed wrong, and then repeatedly emphasized the comparison. "16 people certified, 16 people versus in the thousands", he said.
Beginning his five-hour trip, Mr Trump rallied disaster management workers, telling them they "can be very proud" of their response. "Sixteen versus literally thousands of people". "You can be very proud, everyone around this table and everyone watching can be very proud of what's taking place in Puerto Rico". As many as 1,800 people died in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina breached levees protecting New Orleans. "But it's been incredible... the results that we've had, with respect to loss of life".
US President Donald Trump tosses rolls of paper towels to people at a hurricane relief distribution centre in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
"They owe a lot of money to your friends on Wall Street and we're going to have to wipe that out". Maria is considered the strongest storm to hit Puerto Rico in over 90 years. They're still just trying to get back on their feet after Hurricane Maria. He praised his administration's response, even as lawmakers returning from the island say the president is painting far too rosy a picture. And in Puerto Rico, in particular, his criticism of local people for not doing more to help themselves has struck an off note during a time of crisis.
While the administration got a slow start, United States federal officials have since ramped up relief work, and Lieutenant General Jeffrey Buchanan's leadership should help.
The mayor of San Juan proudly sported a T-shirt emblazoned with the word "NASTY" on it for a TV appearance during which she took shots at President Trump's response to Hurricane Maria. But for now, more action and less talk is advised.