The photo, published by The New York Times and Time magazine, shows Mr. Bush shaking hands with an Abramoff client, chairman Raul Garza of the Kickapoo Indian tribe in Texas. Abramoff's bearded face appears in the background, small and slightly blurry.
White House spokesman Allen Abney said the photo was taken in 2001, when the president dropped by a meeting of about two dozen state legislators to thank them for supporting tax relief.
Originally, the White House said it had no record of Abramoff's attendance at the meeting.
"We now know that Mr. Abramoff attended this meeting," Abney said Sunday. "The president has taken tens of thousands of pictures. This does not mean he has a personal relationship with each individual that is in those pictures."
The White House would not release the photo or any others that Mr. Bush had taken with Abramoff, who helped raise more than $100,000 for the president's re-election campaign. Abramoff has since pleaded guilty to federal charges related to an influence-peddling scandal on Capitol Hill and is now helping prosecutors investigate lawmakers, congressional aides and administration officials his team used to lobby.
Mr. Bush has said that he had his picture taken with Abramoff an unknown number of times, but he doesn't remember any of them. The White House has previously acknowledged that Abramoff attended "a few staff-level meetings" at the White House and Hanukkah receptions in 2001 and 2002.
Abramoff, however, says in recently disclosed e-mail messages that he met Mr. Bush "almost a dozen" times.
"The guy saw me in almost a dozen settings, and joked with me about a bunch of things, including details of my kids. Perhaps he has forgotten everything, who knows," Abramoff wrote in an e-mail to Kim Eisler, national editor of the Washingtonian magazine.
Abramoff added that Mr. Bush "has one of the best memories of any politician I have ever met … though of course he can't recall that he has a great memory!"
Portions of the e-mails were made public Thursday by a liberal Web site, thinkprogress.org.
The New York Times reports Eisler acknowledged sharing the e-mails with a writer for the site, but didn't realize they would be made public.
"I considered them confidential e-mails, and it was a slip on my part to release a portion of them," Eisler said.
Asked about the e-mail messages Thursday, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said, "I think what the president says still stands: Mr. Abramoff is someone who was involved in wrongdoing, he has acknowledged that himself."