Al GoreAlbert (Al) Arnold GoreAl Gore: 'This experiment with Trumpism is not going well' Protecting democracy requires action from all of us Poll: Democrat Bredesen leads GOP's Blackburn by 5 points in Tennessee Senate race MORE came prepped with a sweet surprise for a former colleague at the D.C. premiere of his documentary "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power."

The  former vice president briefly broke away from the green carpet at the Washington screening to present former Sen. Barbara MikulskiBarbara Ann MikulskiDems ponder gender politics of 2020 nominee Robert Mueller's forgotten surveillance crime spree Clinton: White House slow-walking Russia sanctions MORE (D-Md.) with a birthday cake on Wednesday night. The nation's longest-serving female lawmaker turned 81 on Thursday.

"He knew that my birthday is tomorrow, and he knew that I like to count the twinkles instead of the wrinkles," Mikulski exclaimed to ITK at the movie's premiere at the Newseum. "And he very gallantly gave me a birthday cake."

The white frosted cake came decorated with raspberries and gold foil pieces, with "Happy Birthday Barb" scrolled onto it.

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"I've known Vice President Gore since we served in the House of Representatives together. We were on the [House Energy and Commerce Committee] together. So we've known each other for more than 30 years," Mikulski said of her history with the environmental advocate.

Asked whether Gore had shared a personal birthday message, Mikulski replied, "We both say: Be defiant and never compliant."

Mikulski, who retired last year, then offered her support of Gore's sequel to his 2006 Oscar-winning climate change documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth."

"What we really talked about was this movie and the whole idea of helping young people who've been out protesting, to focus really on how do we go from outcry to outcome?"

"Show your passion," Mikulski advised. "Show what you don't like. But for every opposition, let's now have a proposition that makes the world a better place and a safer place."

A bevy of Democratic lawmakers turned out for the VIP event ahead of the movie's nationwide Aug. 4 premiere, including Sens. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenSome employees' personal data revealed in State Department email breach: report Dems seek ways to block Trump support for Saudi-led coalition in Yemen Hillicon Valley: Trump signs off on sanctions for election meddlers | Russian hacker pleads guilty over botnet | Reddit bans QAnon forum | FCC delays review of T-Mobile, Sprint merger | EU approves controversial copyright law MORE (N.H.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDem vows to probe 'why the FBI stood down' on Kavanaugh Senate Democrats increase pressure for FBI investigation of Kavanaugh Senate Dems sue Archives to try to force release of Kavanaugh documents MORE (R.I.), Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonPolitical shenanigans mask true problems in Puerto Rico The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — The Hill interviews President Trump The Hill's 12:30 Report — Kavanaugh controversy consumes Washington | Kavanaugh slated to testify Monday | Allegations shake up midterms MORE (Fla.) and Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyOvernight Energy: Warren bill would force companies to disclose climate impacts | Green group backs Gillum in Florida gov race | Feds to open refuge near former nuke site Warren wants companies to disclose more about climate change impacts DHS transferred about 0M from separate agencies to ICE this year: report MORE (Ore.); House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.); and Reps. Steny Hoyer (Md.), Suzanne BonamiciSuzanne Marie BonamiciLawmakers, media serve up laughs at annual 'Will on the Hill' Congress — when considering women’s health, don’t forget about lung cancer Overnight Energy: Two top Pruitt aides resign at EPA | 17 states sue EPA over car emissions rules | Volkswagen to pay West Virginia .5M over emissions cheating MORE (Ore.), Carolyn Maloney (N.Y.), Jim McGovern (Mass.), Debbie Dingell (Mich.), Tom O'Halleran (Ariz.), Tom Suozzi (N.Y.), Danny K. Davis (Ill.) and Alan Lowenthal (Calif.).

ITK asked Mikulski her attitude about birthdays and turning another year older.

"Well, I like them," she said with a grin. "It's better to have them than not to have them."