Presidential candidate Julian Castro says he knows a bunch of U.S. pro athletes HATE going to The White House now that Donald Trump's in charge ... and says he plans on changing that, if he gets elected.
Fresh off his widely-praised performance at the Democratic debates, Castro told he didn't sleep last night ... and was still replying to all the texts he got!
But, when we started talking sports -- in the wake of Trump's new beef with Team USA soccer star Megan Rapinoe -- Castro mustered up the energy to take another shot at POTUS.
"I'm very confident that whomever the next President ... and I hope to be the next president ... you're gonna see a lot more sports teams eager to go to The White House unlike we've seen in the last couple of years," Castro said.
Of course, Rapinoe recently said she's "not going to the f*cking White House" if Team USA wins the World Cup ... following the lead of the Golden State Warriors, who also boycotted Trump.
Several members of the Boston Red Sox also declined The White House's invite after winning the World Series.
Castro says he remembers back when he was with the Obama administration, NBA teams and players LOVED visiting The White House ... and he wants to bring that spirit back.
"[The players] considered that a highlight of their year," Castro said ... "I think it's gonna be like that again."