“Obama’s attitude was, this is an elderly gentleman in a country where this kind of greeting is customary,” said the official. “It does not seem extraordinary to show this kind of gesture to him.”

“The Fox News poll said that 67 percent of Americans thought [the bow] was a good thing for him to have done,” the official continued. “When the president heard that some people had complained, I’d characterize his reaction as: The notion that the United States is somehow humbling or humiliating itself by showing respect for a local custom, when it is transparently the most powerful country in the world, leaves me speechless.”