"The White House is denying that the president bowed to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia at a G-20 meeting in London, a scene that drew criticism on the right and praise from some Arab outlets.
"It wasn't a bow. He grasped his hand with two hands, and he's taller than King Abdullah," said an Obama aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The Washington Times called the alleged bow a "shocking display of fealty to a foreign potentate" and said it violated centuries of American tradition of not deferring to royalty. The Weekly Standard, meanwhile, noted that American protocol apparently rules out bowing, or at least it reportedly did on the occasion of a Clinton "near-bow" to the emperor of Japan." (source)
Enter Obama stage right at (00:53/3:336): The "Grasped his hand with two hands" explanation just isn't true. He takes his hand and bows with his left hand still hanging at his side (00:55/3:36) His left hand doesn't come up until he is upright again. The two hand grasp and nodding down to his level comes after that (1:00/3:36). I say unequivocally he bowed...
Now you can watch it for yourself and decide: