State Dept. denies asking PayPal to cut off WikiLeaks

The U.S. government did not ask PayPal to stop processing payments to WikiLeaks, according to a tweet from State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley.

PayPal, Visa and MasterCard have all stopped processing payments to WikiLeaks in the wake of the site's publication of thousands of classified diplomatic cables. U.S. authorities have increased efforts to stop the site even as a group of hackers known as Anonymous has launched a wave of denial of service attacks in response.

Crowley sent the tweet Thursday morning along with another decrying conspiracy theories regarding Assange's arrest in London over allegations he sexually assaulted two women in Sweden. Assange has denied any wrongdoing and is currently awaiting a Dec. 14 court appearance.

"Conspiracy theorists are at it again. The U.S. is not pulling strings in the Assange case. This is between the UK and Sweden," Crowley added.

Crowley took to Twitter again on Friday to mark World Press Freedom Day and to once again jab at Assange for his site's outing of confidential military and intelligence informants.

"While Julian Assange places journalists in authoritarian societies at risk through the release of cables, we are protecting them," Crowley tweeted.

"No country believes in press freedom more than the United States. We practice what we preach."